Scene, unseen

July 1, 2008

He’s back. The old man with caved-in cheeks, driving a faded blue car. I saw him today. Third time in a week, always morning. This time will he see me starring from my window across the street? Just sits there, eyes down, motor running. Drives off after a minute or two.

I hadn’t seen him for a few years. Same spot then. I was working in the yard. He opened the door, leaned out, dumped an ashtray of cigarette butts. I hollered. He sped off. The butts? Torn bits of a Polaroid photograph.

Later I pieced them together. A destroyed secret emerging? Blurred Christmas tree lights burned through a dark background. Across the foreground jutted an outstretched hand. A test or accidental snapshot.

Or I missed something, am missing something now. Eyes only see 20 percent of what we perceive. I read it. Memory fills in the rest.