He can hear her stomach rumble from two rows behind her in the psychology lecture.
He’s watched her all ten weeks this semester, but never
asked her name. Her shy smiles never directed at him,
he gets lost in her strawberry-blonde hair,
twisted into two bobby-pins squarely behind her head.
He’s watched her graceful steps as she leaves her seat
to pass the attendance list, and he’s seen her
stockinged toes with tiny holes where her nails bite through,
playing with her leathery black heels under her chair.
He’s watched her clothes grow baggier week by week,
And, when he’s lucky, he’s seen her run between the city’s shadows,
barely recognizing the stranger with a bun, and no flowing dress
under which to hide her hips.
The day she stood up when 5:15 struck and
fell, crashing to the carpet, he was the first there
cradling her head in his lap, tucking her soft hair behind her ear,
toying with the tiny heart beads which hung from her lobes.
Her clear hazel eyes opened, widened with fear
scrambling to return to her vertical state. Her uneasy legs,
made taller by her towering shoes, stumbled away.
Each clock of her heels, her long legs nearly running, made her more
the majestic fawn that he didn’t have the heart
to hunt for the only purpose of being
hung on his wall.