Before they met …

She was seated across the Friday din
watched him take a thirsty swig
coiled around the stubbie
his fingers, lean and slim
the stubborn red dirt
tattooed under nails,
with surgical precision
His shoulders broad,
with a hint of casualness
two buttons undone at chest
sleeves rolled up, uneven
blue green veins mapped on skin
He caught her glance
balanced it
until the fuse was lit
then he scanned into memory
a treasure chest, to be raided privately
the miscellany, the incongruity of her presence
seated silently, ignoring all
He observed her intermittently
as fingers skimmed keys like a breeze
he took it all in
there was nothing to misread
no gold, no diamonds,
just a single pearl clasped in silver,
in the hollow of her neck
like a third eye, it signalled
for her, there was no one else there, but him

a dawn bird