They said she had cancer. People did.
That’s all. They whispered it like a scandal.
I was just divorced. My emptiness had pockets.
We were both in The Optimist Club.
She called me up one Sunday.
Would I pick up her paper for her
at the corner Mini-Mart?

I delivered her paper.
She taught Spanish at the high school.
Did. Until. Then.
We sat and talked.
She asked if I’d like a cigarette.
Declined politely. It’s bad for…

We both admired her figure
of Don Quixote on his mount.
Silence. His lance so bent and worn.
She smoked, shrugged her shoulders.
Weather. The weather was fine.
I hate myself. Sometimes I don’t.

I was Sancho Panza,
tending the world of shaving basins.
She was Don Quixote,
wanting so much more. Is the world
a golden helmet or a shaving basin?
Or a golden shaving basin?
I doubt she ever knew for sure.