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for William Taylor, Jr.
On her third cigarette, alone and no one here
has the heart to say put it out so we drink
alone in our own ways and hook theses wishes
to the white tails of her breath and watch
Golden State move the ball without pause
but not really watching, but slowly and quietly each
one here fits new locks on the doors we’re closing
ourselves behind. Later I’ll slip Chopin’s
Nocturnes on the turntable and listen to these
other locks sliding open with each little touch.
Later still I’ll dream of those four o’clock winds
crashing my body as the late sun wavered
querulously over San Francisco and I’ll tell
myself I loved there, I was loving and loved
and even later still I will see this reflection
only slightly recognizable as mine ghosting the window
as little pink fingers of morning grip the edge
of the East End and I’ll know all at once
the many lies I’ve been telling myself since then.
Kristofer Collins is the longtime Books Editor for Pittsburgh Magazine. He is the co-curator of The Hemingway’s Summer Poetry Series. His latest book The River Is Another Kind of Prayer: New & Selected Poems was published in 2019 by Kung Fu Treachery Press. His latest project is The Pittsburgh Book Review. He lives in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Stanton Heights with his wife and son.