Reading Gone Girl alone
in a downtown café
Marvin Gaye and Jim Croce
jockeying for all-time best balladeer
you could pardon a gal
for thinking it’s a cruel kind
of retro world except—
that somewhere in the middle
of a clue dropped
by the missing heroine
I look up to catch
a glimpse of your tall dark
shadow with a sweep of tartan
scarf like a thoroughbred’s mane
passing the plate
glass window
and the pale cool offering
of fiction overturns
and spills
coins of new fortune
wet and foreign
at my feet
as if the Trevi fountain
had burst a billion wishes
through some wrinkle in time
and the novel spins from a patch
of melting snow with the same arc
and grace as you turning
on a dime
and walking
back this way.


© Elaine Stirling, 2015