he crept into the flat, having first taken off his shoes outside the door.
with infinite care,
he put down each foot and froze every time a floorboard creaked.
He hardly knew now what had made him accept the woman's
to come in for a coffee.
All he had planned to do was to see her home,
she wasn't even his concern,
she had been his friend's date.
it would be morning.
The love of his life lay, fast asleep, in their bed;
it was hardly worthwhile joining her there,
he'd only wake her,
an inconsiderate thing to do in the small hours,
he said to himself.
He would lie down on the sofa in their living room instead.
By the thin light of early dawn filtering through the half-drawn curtains
he saw La Gioconda on the wall above the sofa;
and he knew she knew.