at the very thought, there comes a
pendulum strobelight (sudden heat and bitter cold
and sweating through both)
but pulling off (through no fault of his own)
a casual query (the pulsing rhythm hidden, just;
and fast enough to shame a hummingbird - twice thirty-odd score each minute
he thinks of her)

and just as casually (reaffirming his daily doubts)
her lips and tongue conspire, sending his worst fears
all speeding (god-fast) back to him

he (pays but) plays it off
in harmless ways
her excuse a laugh - she'd not thought
to be asked
and subsequent dissections replaying in his mind
reveal still subtler intentions, when
the truth,
(separate, distinct, exact;
and from her, so hopelessly permanent,
and all the worse for innocence)
simple and immutable,
and having no bearing on the weight of his organs (his every limb
a limp reminder),
continues against its nature (as he and his in asking her)
to bring despair (but bittersweet, for any exchange of his
with her marks unconscious grins upon reflection -
his mind a mirror of what he wishes hers would be)

and their last few words (an impression of regret for their necessity)
bring to mind the same - his sweet sorrow, unsung;
promises for the morrow (too young, his heart, for brit. lit.
to flit, lit, so close to home and, bit by bit, landing hit after hit, end up consuming it -
he knows not the lines that might win (but he sure as hell knows the inspiration within))

and twice more, in fourty-odd score
divisions (revisions of original estimates still pour in)
his every waking moment, a vision of her (twenty four score over seven the same)
and so he never tires in his covert campaign
because she still doesn't know
the name of his game.