Endsheet by M.J. Arcangelini

On the last blank page of a used, mail-order paperback I find a careful pencil drawing of two people, a man and a woman, seen from behind in an airplane or bus.
The man is seated on the aisle, his short sleeve reveals tattoos rendered in fine detail. He holds a cell phone in that hand. There is a chain from his back pocket to his belt loop, each link distinct.
There is less to see of the woman, the side of her head, a dangling earing. The only feature visible on her face is a small mole midway between her invisible eye and her ear. She, too, holds a cell phone.
The artist captured her mole, the stubble on the man’s cheek, hints at a border between hair and hat, differentiating without defining, allowing ambiguity a chance to undermine presumption.
M.J. Arcangelini (b.1952 in Pennsylvania) has resided in northern California since 1979. His work has been published in print magazines, online journals, (including The James White Review, Rusty Truck, The Ekphrastic Review, The Gasconade Review, As It Ought To Be) & over a dozen anthologies.  The most recent of his five collections are: “What the Night Keeps,” (2019) Stubborn Mule Press and “A Quiet Ghost,” (2020) Luchador Press.

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