Bridget Fahey O’Brien
and Annmarie Lockhart

Bridget Fahey O’Brien
Afternoon Delight
Inspiration Piece

Things They Didn’t See
By Annmarie Lockhart

She didn’t see:

  • the time it took to flatten and stack the boxes
    that carried onions, broccoli, bean sprouts before
    they were sautéed with the duck featured
    so prominently on the sign
  • the hands of the woman who strung the lights
    whose job it was to suggest festivity in the shape
    of a strip-needled tree and the glare of foil
    four long years and an earthquake ago
  • the city man who gave the place an “A,” meaning
    the grease and dust were of the safest variety, no vermin
    DNA accrued in the kitchen, the food was kept hot enough
    to dissuade bacterial proliferation

He didn’t see:

  • the raised paw and pearl white face of the good luck cat
    in the window, warding off times dark and lean, hailing
    sunlight and neon, starlight and stardom, winking
    at the inside joke of fortune
  • the way her frozen yogurt slid from blueberry bright
    to purple stain in the time it took to walk and talk
    from Hell’s Kitchen to her apartment filled with
    songbirds just south of the Lincoln Tunnel
  • the residual hope shining behind her glasses, glints
    of the dream she had the night before while he watched the Yankees
    and she danced with a stranger, waking to tell him she wondered
    why she never dreamed anymore


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