Melissa Mutrux

Last time they met,

they sat over the dripping styrofoam

from a dinner bought on his campus—

glazed orange kernels of chicken

breathing steam,

and his eyes

glazed through the heat:

he wanted to know

if she was doing OK.

She lifted the black plastic fork, ignoring

chopsticks and ignoring

the question. His chair legs scraped tile.

Light flickered in the kitchen.

He hadnít taken a bite,

only watched her as she ate.

His eyes were green as summer water

in the pond they had loved as children—

he would wait, soundless,

a drawn-out second

on the fringed bank between cattails,

and his sharp, twisted wrist

would net

a Pacific Treefrog, its body copper and black,

small as a shared secret.

He twisted his cup to lips and sipped,

and she wondered

when the light straining from his eyes

had transformed

to the tired,

refracted light of fall.

Melissa Mutrux has lived in Southern California for her entire life and is currently finishing a three year stint in San Diego to obtain her Masters. She writes both poetry and fiction, and her most recent work appears in 2River View, San Diego Poetry Review, and Bear Flag Republic: Prose Poems and Poetics from California.

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