For Caroline, Christmas 2017

Chin H Shin

For Caroline, Christmas 2017

It was my first son’s first birthday
After his mother’s Mother’s Day death.
I had never Ubered downtown before
That windy rain-drenched Wednesday,
But I would be drinking, drinking, aiding and abetting
Zoloft’s numbing affectless effects.

A warehouse converted into a restaurant,
Bricks, tables, a mirror-backed bar,
Water dripping from the brim of my fedora,
“A Jameson’s on the rocks, please.”
Twenty minutes later, the rain still coming down in sheets,
She came in drenched and sat down next to me as planned.

Later, we moved to a table, and I shared my guilt,
What I had not done in those awful last hours.
Shaking her head, she took my hand —
Perhaps she took my hand — but I know for sure
Word for word what she said — too sacred to share —
Seeds of love sown that windswept Wednesday.

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