They met through intermissions.
Once of a performance, he lent her a light. The façade of the concert hall against the silhouette of cigarette smoke.
And then the bell sounded.
Another of a lecture break, when they exchanged a nod, before submitting to other voices trying to drown out two pairs of eyes.
The last of a wedding, of the ones they had each chosen to let go, long ago, and as they sat by the aisle, shared a wondering of what it could had been if they were the ones walking with the one...
They met through these intermissions, no longer intermittently, now.
These durations of regret played out in the present, of a presence, of missing to speak. Just a word, the name, alongside which some future can perhaps be pronounced.
But instead, to reverse, and repeat in reversing, the intermission of a face that surfaced thrice, and then infinitely, closer than fortuity.
In these other worlds, they have decided to write each other down. Neither had the right – and this they knew – but so in order, to pretend not to remember.
If it weren’t for time, she might not be able to see, in a longer sunset his shadow monumentally touching hers.
If it weren’t for distance, he might not be able to hear, the soft echo as if in the hollow of her hand.
By Ma ShaolingQLRS Vol. 3 No. 2 Jan 2004