She passes through every day at about this time. If the rest of us are lucky; she stays if but for an extended moment. Today fortune smiles. She glides from the counter; through the French doors and onto the veranda. Her curls bounce behind her like an obedient in supplication and winding into an open chair; she settles.
I sit two tables down; watching her. The ticking from my watch slows to vacant…endless…intervals. Captivating is a word left for lesser moments with lesser subjects. She is…entrancing. Her left leg sits perched across her right. I can see the instep of her feet, the crown on a garnet shoe. Her delicate ankles graciously give way to a sculpted calf. Extended, pronounced lines move gently as she bobs her leg in time with a silent anthem. The hem of her cocoa skirt allows the bend of her knee to flirt with the air; to flirt with me; to coax my held breath. Breathe…Please.
I curse the tailor’s adroit hands for draping such an alluring silhouette with deft precision. She knows. She smiles slyly with the corner of her eye. She certainly knows. As she cradles her book in her left hand, the right glides through to turn a page. Her head cocks to the left again. The tresses tied back, save one gently spiralling tendril at her cheek, flip in accordance with her will. Her florid lips, suggesting a base of softest pink, progress minutely into a placid smile. Lost and forgotten, find me. Find me here, at this table, inhaling every movement and devouring her last detail.
The suns late autumn beams cut through the brise-soleil to mark her lap in alternating hues of cool and warm. Her radiant face casts a light of a different spectrum on colder darker, places, she has not seen. I feel the tension in my chest ease as I feel her simper. I feel it grip me again as the sidelong squint turns into a realizing glance in my direction. Like a lesser being, terrified, I freeze. I am found out.
Her bare limbs carry the slightest sensation of chill. I pray the sun shine full again, do not drive this picture away.


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