A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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June 2005, vol 1 no 1

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Brynne McAdoo, USA

Haiku Rendezvous

It's been nearly a year since I've seen him. I even moved, not leaving a forwarding number.

you don't know
where i live but still
i leave the porch light on

Our phone conversation is short, nothing much exchanged except when and where we will meet, a secret spot: a cheesy cabin restaurant with an artificial fireplace. It is another place neither of us has been to and will never go again. I make sure I wear a black, fringed sweater he's never seen, a new shade of lipstick, Scarlet O'Hara Red.

I freeze in my heels when I see his profile at the bar, and he turns his face to me.

his moustache gone--
a shorter reach
for our tongues

His voice steadies me, like it always has. The shabby, ordinary life I lead becomes poetry as we talk. Nothing else exists except his wide blue eyes and the worn little journals we each bring, scribbled full of our lonely love haiku. We take turns reading, each poem taking one slow breath.

my haiku lover...
not many words
between us

I got worried about you when I wasn't seeing your work in Plum Blossoms, he says, his eyes like blue moons. Haven't submitted in a long time, I say, sighing. Maybe I needed you for some new material, I tease. He strokes my hair and plays with the ring on my finger. He writes something in my journal that I won't read just now. I can't tell you what the waitress looks like, though she fetches us drinks for hours. A married couple next to us listens in for a while and when they leave, we take their booth until the last call, and the waitress leaves the stark white bill on the table.

It's cold out and I tuck my hand into the crook of his elbow as he walks me out, opens my car for me.

after midnight--
keys jingling
in my door

Let's just stay a while longer, I say, though I didn't need to say it. As my lips find his, I know he is as imaginary as a lullaby and as real as a bruise. Later tonight, I will fall asleep, nestled in a dream of his arms. And tomorrow I will wake to an emptiness that fills every gaping, longing space within me. But now I do not care.

the pull
of my ex-lover--
crater moon



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