during the flight to atlanta
I almost placed my hand
upon your knee
just like old times
and it hurt not to do so
this tiny gesture de amor enduring
a vestigial caress of reassurance
while my love for you
vibrated like a tuning fork
humming deep within me
one you have to raise
close to your ear
to hear its golden note
but it was still there
ringing in the whoosh of flight
and the patter of attendants
collecting snack trash
singing among the bloodied shards
of irreparable heartbreak
holding my tongue the same
as I’d restrained my hand

I instantly regretted
mistaking your sterile courtesy
as lingering affection
daring to let down my guard
to hazard casual conversation
but you didn’t miss a beat
in reminding me
there is no more

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John LaMar Cole was raised on a tobacco farm in the central Bluegrass of Kentucky in the 1960s.  He works as a certified medical interpreter, as well as a lifetime of gigs as pianist and musical director, currently finishing his doctorate in music composition.  Although John has written poetry since a child, he only began to seek publication in 2021.  Since then, ten of his poems have been published in two editions of Danse Macabre, as well as in Screen Door Review.  He comes from a long line of storytellers and amateur poets, spinning out yarns from the legends & lifestyle of the rolling, verdant terrain that nurtured him.  Love was his perennial motivation.
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