He comes up to her at the bar It’s you I’ve been waiting for your pearls
and tight curls and muted beiges my mother barely speaks. English, she
puts a raisin in the loaf just to trick me I order a tonic with gin we laugh
so the story goes I put you in your car I’m going to marry you I say you
laugh we laugh. When. Then, you leave college and have a child at 20 and
beiges turn to embarrassed reds my mother only speaks to you. Polish, you
smile and nod because this is what you do oh you sweet woman you come
with me to the shoe store downtown and we buy the hideous clogs that
you will keep in the closet untouched. Cream tonic beige white cream tonic.
At the boat dock the time runs out the table is ready you cover yourself with
red wine your cream trousers blood dipped. It’s you I’ve been waiting for.
You’ll need more rice than that, the old woman scoffed.
I track my gas at 25 dollars a visit, playing
stop the pump at a perfect 5x5, something I can
measure, petrol in clumps of fours, twos, months
since I’ve felt your expansion, licking sticky rice
from the pots in the kitchen till we swear off sushi
only to go back to it on our next night off. Tough
kisses under Maine moon, I forget what this kind
of love feels like, licking each other’s fingers of
our own permanence, each month a countdown
to this summer. This sweaty July. Running from
the barn, forgetting that you are allergic to horses
that tomorrow we begin the months again, passing
time with sandwich bread and baking over cups of
lukewarm water. On the carpet, giant fan hums until
evening falls and we drive off, our secret of fullness
I wanted to kiss you so I got in the car and kissed you.
For cold intemperament make a salve of pounded
celery and apply to breasts. Your narrow jaw bone.
Skeleton arms. Still toned, even after halftime
death. I have a boyfriend now, you say. You say my
name too—Cancer may appear after a warm natured
swelling. I want you because you’re 40 but could easily
pass for 20. That look you get when you walk across
the room and your little body moves fast and your feet
pound into the floor. I wake up to realize our love?
Sleep, bodies, car. I smell your perfume. Three years
ago you lost your hair and now it’s beautiful brown
tumbleweed. You are preventable, but seldom curable.