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I was twenty then & remember how in stores, tramways or cafés, I’d catch someone’s gaze, eyes that took me in & held me there for an instant. The glint of those stares — a flash of mica — offered to me & just like that, I felt my loneliness shatter: Everything was light: those eyes & that gaze holding me — then, just as sudden, I disappeared again inside the dismissal of a blink. I’d search again & again for other eyes, other heart- gasping moments to take me in & hold me — it didn’t matter how briefly as long as, for an instant, I was held. (And yet, with him, when — from across a crowd, table, or pillow — his gaze took me in & held & held & held me — it was I who looked away first. Oh, it was I.)
‘I was twenty then’ from These Many Rooms (c) 2019 by Laure-Anne Bosselaar. Appears with permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.