he saw her for the first time
across the tracks in New York
when he was 18
and heading to basic

then again
nearly ten years later
in the chaos of Syria
through the sights of his rifle

at 31
they bumped into each other
strangers with memories of each other
they drank four bottles of sake
before she left him drunk and walletless
in Kyoto

the last time
he saw her was in the paper
of his little hometown
when he was 66
she made the front page
for dying in a fiery crash
on the nearby interstate

and he wondered
as he often had
if they’d loved each other so much
in past lives
they had been destined
to merely brush past each other
in this one

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