The Absent Encore                                             

            The two exchanged a glance
            Before they would be ushered
            To their common destination
            They’d each refused a meal
            But had a smoke
            And through the dissipating haze
            Between their eyes
            They sized each other up
            Who would crack first?
            Inquired the corners of their mouths
            As the moments counted down
            They ventured on a pact
            “Tell me,” said the one, “of all your
            Memories, which do you cherish most?”
            “I will,” the other answered, “if you
            Promise to reveal the memory
            You wish the most to disavow”
            They pondered, in those last few
            Agonising seconds, and
            Discovered, as their escort called,
            The questions were identical
            In the aftermath of their duet
            Despite the wild applause
            They had nothing left


            Emanuel E. García, The Virtues of Calamity, One Hundred Poems2013