It was an autumn Tuesday morning;
the sun scaled the horizon
to reclaim its position
between the day’s forecasted clouds.
On my knees, I painted dust over the rusted fence,
masking the fear crawling the length of my spine.
I hid an inscrutable glance
through a relentless ringtone.
No signal, she said.
I outpaced the loneliness that swelled a flawed
point of view and a backup plan
that I didn’t recognize.
Me, I couldn’t make out my face
in the smudged bathroom mirror.
I deleted her phone number
and erased her face from my automatic thoughts.
It’d be years later when we crossed paths again.
A frown tugged at the corner of her mouth.
She sees me happy, begging for my number
but I have no signal.
(© 2022 AC)