by Joni Abilene

When I was twenty, I wore a black velvet jacket with lace collared shirt underneath, and went to my friend Kelly’s apartment in the city. I sat in the corner, shy, watching the people, the people who could cluster and gossip and spread warmth and dispel fear. It always took too much liquor to make me talk. And then later, in the cold night weaving through the statues, Kelly and her friends, and her lover with his black hair: our breath frosted as we circled the dead fountains; pink granite with italian mosaic. I longed for lovers, for my tongue to betray my introspectiveness. But I, like the fountain, ran dry. Ran dry.