In A Different Light

 We are trading
 hors d'oeurves
 I look up
 you chat down to me
 and I realize that
 suddenly you have noticed
 I'm a woman
 and suddenly you are
 a man, not just a colleague
 and I think
 -how amazing-
 and how patronizing
 as though we'd never
 seen each other

 Such artificial
 barriers stand
 between us here:
 titles define rank
 as though a degree
 reflected character.
 Without such distinctions
 we might make others
 for ourselves --
 who knows what
 common bonds
 we might discover
 in different light.
 Too late now.
 A part of me
 is already gone and
 soon the rest will follow.
 Don't soften your gaze
 as you talk to me
 or marvel at the ways
 we think alike --
 there will never be time
 to explore them further.
 I am finished
 with this place
 as I am supposed to be.
 The future is elsewhere.
 But I sit here now
 tasting the present
 listening to your voice            
 and drinking in                       
 the sadness of
 lost possibilities.