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God, I'm lonely.

In two tiny flats,
small enough to smell each other’s habits.

She, across the shared, single-tree patio,
Nescafé every morning,
sipping slowly, never craving.

Watching and wondering
for days, months, maybe years.
No music, no phone, no visitors.
Always there when I return,

Home?

No, just return
To this empty place
from a lifeless job,
devoid of human contact.
Both of us.

On a dreary winter day approaching the building,
she’s there in the alley.

Crying,
breaking,
shaking,
Giving up.

I lead her to her apartment
Holding her, hugging her.

Startling her.

The next day, her windows are shuttered.
Maybe in the spring
I hope

We will try again.
Just to touch, a hand.

- Jim McCarthy

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