291. Reunion

By dint of pinching,
Hissing in her ear
Almost hysterically, and
Punching at her arm,
Louise got Riah’s eyes
To open wide.
“It’s James!” Louise was
Shouting, “James–
It’s James!”

She pushed James in,
Where the boy stooped, grabbed
His mother’s waist. He clung
For dear life, saying
Nothing, and not
Crying. Riah did not
Move her eyes from
Him, but tried and
Failed to touch: Louise
Picked her hand up,
Placed it on James’ face.
The arm was limp.

The room changed.
Louise, startled, glanced
About: the others there,
Could they not see?
James and Riah, their two
Frames were fitting
Perfectly, impossibly
Together, with his face
Now in her neck. His
Arms and legs wound
Round her as she lay.
Joined, they made
A softness, and gave off
A charge–Louise
Felt vivid air.
And Riah’s dark,
And James’ more sandy hair
Mixed in the static,
Floating, interlaced, both
Brushing with a reassuring
Crackling, while
The darkness in the room
Relaxed, as if their
Bodies, hungry,
Fed each other: the peace
Of a good meal.

The others watched in joy.
Louise thought only,
Tiredly: here’s
A happy moment,
Even if she goes.

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