previously

there was something about
the first time she saw his crooked smile
the right side a little higher than the left
that caught her off guard
reminding her of a joke
that she had never heard
no
not a joke
but the accustomed cadence of his laugh
a quick chuckle that started in eyes
the color of ocean waves on a cloudy day

and when he moved
to tuck the stray hand behind her ear
that stubborn one that always falls
his fingers reached out
a muscle memory
for an action
never before performed

her name
mingling with the taste of her lips
was right on the tip of his tongue
familiar
but out of reach

and if ever there was something
to make her believe
in love at first sight
it was the way
she knew this wasn’t the first
but the hundredth
or maybe even the thousandth
time his first spoken words would be:
hello,
again.

December 8, 2o20

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