how people soften
to one another

some familiarity
a few surprises
a word spoken that
tickles the ears

and then
that moment

i’ve watched it

how eyes become gentler
facial muscles relax
the body more poised for smiling

as if a switch
had been flipped

a door opened

and we allow ourselves
to no longer hold
our separateness
so close

we allow ourselves
to hold each other

an alchemy
of spirits