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2:45 Dismissal

You were not expecting
me: you blinked
and looked again
as though perhaps 
my image 
had only flitted through 
your mind
for an instant. 
Then you came
stumbling into that half-light,
words tumbling,
uncensored still,
awkward still,
like no time 
had passed. Fearful,
because time had passed.

A man your age should know
you don't just let things die.
A man your age should know.

The changeling knows
it will never belong. It knows
it is far from home. It knows
at any moment, the ground
could swallow it whole.
It does not expect 
a welcome. But
you took its terror
without being asked.

You took a step
toward me. I backed away,
hands flat against metal lockers.
Eyes confirmed then:
the conversation was finished

(though we kept talking,
though you recited my last letter
like you were being graded,
though you came back out
to stare after me
when you thought I had gone).

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