The day Samantha and Hugo met she was wearing a dotted scarlet scarf and handcrafted silver and turquoise earrings that drooped down three inches, tickling her neck when she moved. She was reminiscent of Frida Kahlo, though her hair was ashy blonde & she wore no flowers. Samantha had a countenance of authority & her wheelchair, too, had power, almost like an animal. Often unobtrusive and lovely like a seahorse but it could also be muscle-tough like a bobcat or lithe like a prairie dog scooting back into its home.

her arms, sinewy
summer sun brightens her face
glamorous blue fingernails

They chatted in a coffeehouse with three friends, a mid-afternoon soundtrack of Van Morrison & Annie Lennox playing on low. Hugo had just met Samantha the week before; she was new to the Eighth Avenue scene and he was intrigued by her. Samantha ordered Darjeeling tea with a slice of lime and when she squeezed the lime into the hot golden tea water much of it squirted on Hugo’s thumb. Hugo and Samantha begn a laughing fit and for 10 minutes they just couldn’t stop. That was when something rearranged itself in both of them. Just like that — at the moment of lime and Darjeeling — they fell. They sailed and tingled and now, four years later, the recurrent feelings of delirium, comfort, and wonder haven’t yet ended. 

can’t pick who you love
he guides the wheels of her chair
this is happiness