I Confess by Alison Luterman
I stalked her
in the grocery store: her crown
of snowy braids held in place by a great silver clip,
her erect bearing, radiating tenderness,
the way she placed yogurt and avocadoes in her basket,
beaming peach like the North Star.
I wanted to ask “What aisle did you find
your serenity in, do you know
how to be married for fifty years, or how to live alone,
excuse me for interrupting, but you seem to possess
some knowledge that makes the earth burn and turn on its axis—”
but we don’t request such things from strangers
nowadays. So I said, “I love your hair.”
At the cafe this morning, I was reminded of the above poem (from writing class this week) when the couple, THAT couple walked in. They are in their fifties and are always smiling. I see them at cafes all around Berkeley and they are usually holding hands, smiling knowingly at each other and just generally blissed out. They are starting to look like brother and sister, melded into one another by some invisible thread.
They are not exactly annoying, just fascinating. I am curious about them. The first several times I wondered if it was a first date? but now, years later, that story doesn’t hold up. Now I wonder other things, like if they possess some secret about how to stay joyous and connected and in apparent consistent gratitude for the blessings in life? Does staying caffeinated have anything to do with it? Do they have jobs other than traveling from cafe to cafe loving each other? I hold these questions in my heart as I watch her take a bite of his sour batard smothered with herb butter. If I find out, I’ll let you know.