Monday, March 6, 2017

Side By Side (Day 47)


Side By Side

Side-by-side, each opening 
a door, they cross the threshold—
familiar, but unsurprisingly foreign. 
She talks without saying much.
Appearing to listen, he wordlessly 
nods and shakes his head, eyes 
fixed on an invisible horizon—
though not unpleasantly so.
He is tall. She wears a black 
wool pea coat. Over the years, 
they have come to resemble 
each other: hair disheveled, similar 
wire-rimmed glasses, the same 
brand of comfortable shoes.
One might easily imagine that they 
pass each other detective novels 
in bed; that he chooses the music; 
and, when they eat out, 
he finishes the food on her plate,
without asking. They cannot linger 
here, where tawdry is casual, and 
casual, elegant; where the big sky 
is purchased at the bargain rate 
of irreversible closure; where small 
thoughts appear to take up 
all the space in the world. 
So, they add milk to their coffee, 
stirring, tasting, and, as they step 
back into the murky afternoon, 
they say: Please, if we ever have to 
live in a place like this, just kill me,
instead. Their laughter is awkward.
Neither will admit to feeling
the dreaded heft of the ropes 
settling around their shoulders, 
even now.

(c) 2017, by Hannah Six