“The Next,” Paul Delvaux, 1977, WikiArt.

Small glimpses of sunlight, we cared for
Each other, friends, weekend roomies,
Shared pillows, blanket warmth, lazy
Hours, occasional kisses, morning coffee,
Quiet moments thinking, hoping about
Eventual us. Aside from bare legs, feet,
Modesty we kept, felt safer that way,
Specially in bed, PJs and socks, legs
Touching, then entwined, as far as we
Dared, two women, spoon sleeping.

Romance was complication we avoided,
Each kiss weakening my armor. Deep
Sigh, staring at myself in the mirror,
What did I expect? My mind began to
Wander, small voice asking, “What if
She said, “Yes!” or worse yet, “No”?
Or diplomatic “Let’s wait.” Thus, we
Danced, careful choreographed steps:
Touching, kissing, unbuttoned shirts,
Bare necklines for mutual pleasure.

Monday morning separate ways, work,
Returning to her flat, few texts, train
Rides, sleeping alone, mid-September,
Electric blanket on #2. Ironies, blanket
Settings, lack of body warmth, absence
Of unisoned breathing equated to mid-
Week loneliness. Staring into misty mirror,
Shower-wet hair, reflections of naked self,
Touching, imagining what I yearned for,
But could not grasp, love unabashed.

“The Balcony,” Paul Delvaux, 1948, WikiArt.

Weekend cycles repeated, well-rehearsed
Dance steps: coffee-breath kisses, open
PJ tops, revealing bathrobes, naked legs
And toes, moon phases, summer, fall,
Winter snows. She preferred to stay at
Home, weekends missed, lonely flat, grey
City skies, snow-wet streets, no familiar
Face at my door, no morning sun. Missteps
Realized, I hugged her cold pillow. We
Did not act, love’s lost moments.

“There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.”
― Jane Austen

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