At unexpected moments

he could feel her fingers

plucking at his heartstrings,

playing the tune

they used to sing


on long trips

while the old Toyota

chugged up the mountains

barely doing forty-five

and the children fidgeted

in the back seat,

counting license plates

from every state.

He was Tony,

hanging from a fire escape

under Maria’s window,

both dreaming of a place

where they’d be safe to love.

He placed his hand on hers

and sang, “we’re halfway there”

as the children whined in back,

“how much longer?”


A lifetime later,

the children grown and married,

his wife in a grave marked with

colored stones

they’d collected on their trips,

all that remained was the music

and a strong feeling

she was still waiting for him,



(orginally published in Epiphany)


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