We were sitting on the couch,
orange cover over the length of it,
tan and tattered underneath,
buttons popped off upholstery
in no pattern
no better place to nap
I said, But please, just please don’t use the word “abandon,”
Never say that I abandoned her,
Never say that I left her
Like I was not coming back
Like love is enough to make anyone stay
Like any way we live is measured by the convention called “normal”
We do not know what will happen in June
It is the unwritten future point past which wondering works against us
We do not know what happens next
Who will be well?
Who will be here?
And what “need” means.
We were briefly quiet,
so I wondered,
then I laughed.
You asked, What’s funny?
Funny is the irony of our circumstances
The many of them that total this:
That each of us is now helping the other live in ways that have been fundamental sources of disagreement since marriage
constitutional departures of view
Helping or preparing to
Later, I drive in the afternoon drizzle.
On the sidewalk, I see the back of a girl small as Olive,
hoodied and high-topped, shouldering a bright backpack,
Immediately, I miss her as if I am gone.
She has no idea.
I put out of my mind what we do not know past June
We are quiet again.
I look over at you on the other corner of the orange couch.
I say, I didn’t even know you still had that sweater.
That blue sweater bought faded and
flaring unreasonably at the waist
Old as our friendship.
Ever since I worked at Banana Republic, you remind me.
I had forgotten.
Of course, it’s fitting, you say; now, not then.
Fitting, I agree.