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The hint  

She stops midstep caught by a taught line of memory

running along the skin of her collar bone where his

fingers barely touched, so delicate, so sacred were

his feelings for her, she remembers


His hungry hands almost caressing her cheek but holding back

as though a real touch would shatter the wonder and pleasure

they shared for months folding into years wildly

loving and hiding, chasing and fighting


They were a gift of something new, love turned right side out,

under threat now by forces claiming his loyalty, his duty,

he longs to stay, but the misspoken promises, misshapened

roles he escaped from call for his return.


Her eyes have not wavered from his face, his eyes reach

to slam shut the stinging demands of voices and echoes, but they

cannot be silenced. He pulls away, releasing his longed for dream

a man turned thirty years older in the choice his feet make.

© Sharon Mooney, “The hint”, From Adelaide Literary Magazine International, From Adelaide Literary Magazine International, VI #44, ed. Stevan V. Nikolic, New York / Lisbon, January 9, 2021, print and online:

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