One Borrows Love

by Laura Lentz

She looked at me and said when
she turned fifty, she knew she could let go.
Her eyes were brown, and her dress had
tropical flowers at the hemline
peeking under her white lab coat.
She said she had a good life,
but I said I never liked being
left out of anything.
She held my gaze.

I knew she didn’t have a child
or a baby growing out of her right hip
or thirsty writers waiting for the next line.
She was an oncologist staring at death,
Taking her small hands and feeling
tumors hiding in lonely bodies
that had forgotten how to live.
But what about tumors in those
who knew how to live?

One borrows time, one borrows people,
One borrows even the brush strokes of an artist
the calloused feet of a runner
the liquid words of a poet.
One borrows a black dress
and a leather bag for Paris,
a bicycle with one flat tire.
One borrows a one-way ticket
to city 8,000 miles away
and falls in love there.
One borrows love.

Photo by Cédric Klei on Unsplash

Philip Brautigam
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