Tears Over 2003

I shed tears as I licked her name off my lips in 2003.
Over two decades, women’s names had spilled
through my lips like bloody fists in a street fight,
but their faces I couldn’t pick out of a fucking lineup.
I dialed numbers but hung up before a nameless face answered.
It was 2023 on the dot, and Beth dialed my ringtone.
“It’s me,” the voice said.
I crinkled my eyes and tilted my head. “Beth?”
“Look, I understand if you don’t—”
“You want to start over?” I said before I formulated the words in my mind.
“If you’ll still have me in 2023,” Beth said, stretching each word.
I smiled through tears that caught her attention.
“You’re going to make me cry,” Beth said through a cracked voice.

Twitter – @AC0040

(© 2023 AC)

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