I swallow the laughter that settles impatiently in my throat, itching to crawl up and release a steamy cloud in the drawn face of December, who’s disagreeable when it comes to such things. The last angle of my mind, unbending before infatuation, reminds me that the joke is still yet to be told and I hold silence. I hold it in the palm of my hand, crushed amidst the compacted snow and grains of dirt.
The seconds slow, a cruel punishment for my haste, as if I’m passing a cemetery without a snatch of air to appease my lungs. Then the chortle rises as a bubble from my oval lips and he grins a dentist’s smile in my direction. Bronze eyes, brimming with frothy tea for wind bitten tongues, fill with liveliness then empty. His features, all working against him, compel me to blurt out the question I’d never wanted answered.
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