Joan Annsfire

Across the Table

the hours,
we sat in a cafe, in the sun
writing treatises, discussing
changes in the wording, changes in the air,
the electric energy of ideas,
a huge banner unfurling into the
boundless space
of our vision.

I remember,
the distinctive rhythm of your voice,
your powerful current of energy,
the understated music
of your quiet listening.

I replayed such simple motions:
your pen tapping against the table,
your fingers moving around the rim of a glass,
I imagined touching your shoulder
but being less than brave
my actions did not flow as easily
as the words that took shape
on blank paper.

it seems strange
to have kept a special place
for time passed so uneventfully.
a day like any other,
full of opportunities
lost or squandered.

looking back,
I marvel
that the world did not pause
and hold its breath
in those years when life was fast and dense
and as close as I have come
to flying.

Joan Annsfire is a longtime political activist and writer. She writes poetry, memoir, short stories, and non-fiction. Her home is in Berkeley, California. She blogs at