Negative Space

Libby used to say things like

“I think people are a lot like syllables”.

when I asked her why,

she would give a sugar smile,

her hand a bird arching out

across the boulevard.

– – –

Libby used to perch in the bay window

of her studio apartment

and talk about how

the bookshop manager had a jealous walk

and the hotdog man stood in a sneering manner.

She would comment on the comings and goings

of the girl in the tulip dress

and how that dress would fit anxiously

around her strides.

– – –

Libby used to hold an iced tea in one hand

and a remote in the other.

She would pretend to change the channel

whenever the boy with the arrogant motorcycle

came grumbling down the street,

a steel peacock preening its way

past the florist who grew the haughtiest daisies

past the middle aged woman

who placed a vigilant bundle of lilacs

by the gate to the playground.

She would hold the lilacs awhile

then she would place them down

and stand there

holding nothing.

– – –

Libby was a connoisseur of words,

a purveyor of hidden meaning.

Her eyes would play along the street

connecting the dots between dozens of lives,

too distracted by the living.

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