After the others had welcomed him back,
had shaken his hand and returned to their desks,
another as ancient pulled over his chair
to inquire of him who six months before
had been taken away
on a pallet of interlocked arms
and parallel faces:
“What happened that day?
No one would say.”
Both men talked softly,
held cigarette rites:
the delights of the tapping,
the lighting, the stubbing,
the one man explaining,
the other one listening,
both of them knowing
a matter of months.
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