I look up as we pause between stations.
Into her eyes, slate flecked with flame.
Seven seats between us.
Also acres, miles, millennia.
As one does when one locks eyes with a stranger, I pretend I didn’t.
I let my gaze drift to those beside her.
And then, long beat, to her.
I watch her expressions shift.
Brow knit, not.
Flashes of light through trees, shadows play across her face.
Patterned light then dark.
Like a hundred dreams I’ve never had.
Her hands fold, unfold.
Her eyes fixed on mine.
I forget transit etiquette.
I don’t look away.
I feel the question inside her,
Have we met?
No one speaks.
Internal circuits flicker off, on.
Time collapses against a backdrop of bakeries, bookstores, cafes, trees, blurred city.
She rises as we reach the next stop, her gaze still on mine.
She steps through the doors, looks back as they slide shut.
I smile, watch as she ascends stone stairs, into a crowd, into honeyed light.
The train moves toward Central.