and I didn’t want it, to be close
afterwards unable to escape bad dreams
and the immense sadness of olives
as she stuffed them tightly into the plastic container
red and green and black and “You only
take me here once a month”
referring to Brighton Beach, and the food
stores lining the block
her brother a buddy of mine
run over forty years ago
who knows what happened to her
and then the guy she lived with for a decade
ran away, she said he also
ran away from his first wife,
what that meant I had no idea.
“My eyes feel a terrible strain
when I’m at the computer, ” she said.
I said, “Get a new pair of glasses
on Nostrand Avenue, $35.”
“They’re only a dollar in the 99 cent store.”
“They just make things bigger” I wanted to say,
“don’t really incorporate vision correction” but said nothing.
She smiled, a youthful fifty-three, and only
a few wrinkles.
“Unless you want to pay, ” she said,
always talking about money, as if she had none,
but with her father’s credit cards
wanted for nothing, except love.
Once a week she went to a Recovery group at Lutheran Hospital
started after the man ran away
a place to go
doom less horrific when huddled together
each shattered soul enunciating details.
No hope, I thought
her glistening tears destined to drop
only on the vast desert of her own heart
to no avail
then, Surely hope, a bit
after all she simply wanted a decent lad to spend a dollar
on Chinese food to show he cared, the ache
for movie love long gone from the night
and not wanting to witness the final scene
I could not turn away.