i heard a rumor, a slippery fish
that the little diner we fell into that rainy summer night
is closing its doors, silent as parentheses
so the cars will still rush by
and people will stop for morning papers next door
“another failed attempt,” they’ll say
without surprise or second thought

but we will have lost something:
the way i liked you from across the table
playing hangman on our napkins,
critiquing all the local art
splashed across the walls like fragile hopes
bluegreenorangesunfloweraubergine
all for sale, shop while you eat
& leave a little brighter, wondering whose brushstoke dreams
you could have taken home
and hung above your bed

dreamcatcher, modern-style —
& that night, you caught mine.

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