I wake.
The sheets wet from sweat, 
The weather better than last night.
Still muggy, soggy, hot.

This reminds me of friend Charlie.
At close of a Chinese lunch
Full of chow mein, sweet sour pork
We decided there was room for one more sweet thing.
Within the folded cookie, a tucked strip of familiar print.
“Read the fortune,” he said. “And add ‘between the sheets.’ “

I laughed, and stared at the white table cloth
Imagined and then read aloud the fortune with Charlie’s codicil. 
Laughed again.

He took his turn, I blushed, laughed.
Eyes back on the white linen tablecloth.
A gift from a friend, one last morsel of Chinese yum and Charlie fun.

Now Charlie lives deep
in a state of southern warmth 
and me, 
I live in the Great north wet.

Lynette Hensley