by James Jacobo-Mandryk
It was not yet noon and from the table he watched her. The lull invited a child's gaze, an animal trust, and with this sad interest he absorbed her nestled ear, her busy hands. She enjoyed their new nearness; he resented his mute appraisal and the failing charade of his posture. He was sickly and without topics beside her profile in full life; she found some truth in their laughter. Turning to speak she caught his gaze, their eyes darted, and he understood at once that it was too late, that he was a fool, that he had arrived in a vain fit. She smiled imperceptibly, and in the same moment, lost to the world, he peered upon the soft line of her jaw as though it presented the very sealing of his fate.
James Jacobo-Mandryk lives in Montreal.