“Do I Know Him? Is She Family?” by M. Steven Neal – Part Two

So. The few weeks since Floyd passed and while now standing in front of Cosme she thought again Do I know him? And he at the bar inside thought Is she family? She walked in. He greeted her and she sat down on the stool beside him. They exchanged pleasantries and for a brief moment they were again strangers. Then from a backpack he retrieved a handful of pink lemons. Eureka lemons. He gave them over to the bartender. Dave smiled. The bartender said: thanks man, these are pretty cool. Lacey watched him. In the barmirror he watched back. He turned to her. Their undoing of an unrecognizable horizon. To have started in another place was of no regard as all that would follow would be of a familiar kind. For she understood then who he was. And he who she was. Lacey: That he was a man who at any given point might just have a backpack full of fruit. That he was not trying to be a man who had a backpack full of fruit. And Dave: that she was a woman who of the way she existed in the world, to give herself over to possibility, to truly see things, people, of a consequential light, he would forever be in worship. Would forever admire. She smoothed the hair by his face. I know him, she thought. She is family, he thought.

They left Cosme a few hours later and they walked quietly and by their gait there was permanence that new love puts upon persons. For such a thing could only be of its nature, and upon persons it would turn onto itself and on each revolution reverb by its breath to forever fathom. On some evening not so long after, they walked the promenade in Brooklyn. Past Pier 6. They walked illuminated under the moon which now hung low by the horizon. By its light the city sparkled behind them. The forgotten lay under the moon and their songs lulled onto them sleep. In the streets fluorescents shone and the eyes of the sleeping shone back and in their hearts were contained the record of epochs. The sparrows returned from their hunting and flew through the city and into their nests beneath the bridge. When they swooped they wailed by shrieks and on the flutter of their wings they carried the smell of sage and laurel from the Flatlands and by their bellies they had preserved the arrangement against which they had come to rest in surety. The cry of a hound sounded and was carried off by the wind away from their consideration. They came to the end of the promenade and where the span met the road they stopped. They stood there unmoving as if they had not known what lied ahead. By a streetlight they were cast as paper dolls stretched onto the asphalt. They breathed in deeply. Then they went on.