He stood taller than I
across from a wooden desk
at which I was sitting.
There was a cigarette pack
in the cigarette pocket
of his short-sleeved shirt.
It was summer, and hot. We were
lightly sweating, layered with innuendo.
I spoke quietly as I do,
and he leaned in to listen.
favorite thing to read this
and how are you that.
He asked me, "who needs Berlin" and I said
"I guess it matters what state you're in."
There is laughter where there is good blood
and a good book in your hand. Invoked sadness, I said "it was nice to meet you" and he walked with boots on.
[image: amber ortolano]
[italicized words borrowed from a song by leif vollebekk]