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To practice speaking English, our pleasant
conversation cannot help but refer
to this futuristic afternoon as
a component of the larger summer

enclosing it on all but one side, hours
remaining, us together, not shut in
by the refrigerated air, set free
to use dictionaries or not, whichever,

to hold the map up to the street scene it
plots out and compare the two, folded over,
see which looks better. Together for a while
and then, down the time tunnel, no longer
fused in the oneness of an unframed blue
that sloped vertical at the middle, blue

tinted into a belief in love games.
No explanation ever made sense of
people a taxi-ride apart never
seeing the front of each other's heads

again, despite corrective lenses which
make eyes like normal. A language lab with
headphones couldn't teach me to say goodbye
in the vein Webster's means it, as a compound.