Then, in a moment’s silence,
While between sentences we stopped
— Almost a pause in our own thoughts —
And as you skimmed deeper and deeper
To a faraway thought of your own
I saw — though in a glimpse — the
Unbearable regret, where you balanced it,
Shut away from the world, unknown to the
Flattery that I offer, untouched by
Your earnest love I had earned.
There, as we conversed, as that lapse emerged,
You looked as uncritical as you could ever
Be to the world. I gauged that you were longing for
A different fate and future: a submission to the best
Of meditated flattery. The short of it, though, was that I had erred.
You knew I was watching you, even as you turned to me
And asked why; but, I didn’t say why,
But re-worded that story which you already knew
And we both listened to what I said; eye evading eye.
You stood up and said you’ll make us some tea.