He liked to think that he was
all shadows and rough edges
but I knew him well enough
to know that he had three smiles:
the first was nice but fabricated
used for every day purposes
a little too shiny and never quite
reaching his eyes
the second was to throw you off the trail
if you got too close for comfort
a little bit goofy to let you know
that he was pleasantly disregarding
whatever personal question you had asked
and the third
the third felt like velvet across your
lower back or the inside of your arm
like hot sunshine through the car window
in the middle of winter
He only used that smile when he thought
that no one was watching
and it belied the very depth of his feeling.

It was the third smile, that got me in the end.




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