Shedding Mistakes

Beside morning-silent streets,
distant gleam of vehicles in motion,
we meet, phones down,
at a café’s outside table.
I see a flag flying at half-mast,
shaping the days’ dialogue.
Eight insistent questions
are your conversation,
I won’t answer three.
I measure moods by
the smiles of liars,
acrid slice of a laugh.
I see you losing weight,
lacking language to examine
your lethargy, our demands.
We’ve stayed too long
with our first stories,
that lift of infatuation, fucking,
afternoon breakfast on Saturdays.
Ten years and children now
come between us.
Dismissing my solution,
you won’t stop the search for
one rule to relieve regrets.
Trying for fun, you offer
a rose folded from a napkin.
Knowing your choices,
I order a third mimosa.
You’re looking towards
a Tupelo homecoming.
I’ve found a way out.

R.T. Castleberry, a Pushcart Prize nominee, has work in Vita Brevis, San Pedro River Review, Trajectory, Silk Road, StepAway and Dissident Voice. Internationally, he's had poetry published in Canada, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France, New Zealand, Portugal, the Philippines, India and Antarctica. His poetry has appeared in the anthologies: You Can Hear the Ocean: An Anthology of Classic and Current Poetry, TimeSlice, The Weight of Addition, and Level Land: Poetry For and About the I35 Corridor. Read other articles by R.T..