A Meeting of the Minds

Vanessa Stafford

Leah Roche

I said, “Let’s meet

on the courthouse steps,”

you said, “I’ll be the one

with the blush-stained rose,”


I thought, how quaint,

perhaps we’ll tell our kids 

the story one day, 


I hurry down the 

buzzing street, patting 

my pockets for my wallet 

for a third time,


the jingle-jangling nerves 

of blind dating, 


I lean against a column, winded

from the twenty minute walk,

minnow sharks stream by 

in scaly suits and gilded shoes,


you climb the stairs,

rising against the current,

and I see the telltale flower 

pinned to your lapel 


did you really need 

the clichéd signal,

I’d have recognized

the pantsuit anywhere,


we step into a coffee shop,

neutral grounds,

then sit out back to smoke,

thank god for small favors,


your cousin’s barber

is also my dentist’s patient, 

how’s that for Kevin Bacon,

three decades pass and

here we sit, sipping black coffee

still, ghosts of unborn children

haunt the smoke-filled air,


the ever-present rose 

stuck to your jacket, 

family politics aside, 


at least we can agree 

on Camel lights.

Meeting Of The Minds, Dreams and Delusions, Ekphrasitc by Vanessa Stafford and Leah Roche

Vanessa Stafford is an artist from Santa Cruz, CA with a B.S. in Graphic Design from San Jose State University, 1997.

Leah Roche is a part-time student at Anne Arundel Community College, currently studying painting and fiction writing. In her free time, you may find her outside pedaling furiously on her road bike or inside lounging with her two cats, Misty and Miles.