She and I have forgotten the angles of each other's bodies, the shock
of rough skin rubbing across soft. We fill
this forgetting with NPR, bad movies, plans
while we make dinner in our tight
kitchen, careful not to brush against each other in case we find the place
we haven't been to in so long has changed, everything become smaller, larger,
strange. This place—she—doesn't remember me, just as I don't remember her.
Forays have been made, like drunken road trips
to childhood hangouts. We've fumbled; we've tried
to relearn. Forgiveness has been given, annoyance
taken; we have grown into something else, something soft, cool, bearable.
It's good to listen, to know things from a soft voice. It's
good not to hear the screech of commercials, to keep abreast
of obscure events we'll never care about the way we worry
over that void. This is adulthood. This is what we've worked towards.
One night I will wake to the sound of plastic
shattering, run into the kitchen to find her
burying an axe in the voice of Terry Gross;
I've dreamed this three nights in a row. Each morning, I wake
refreshed, go into the kitchen, and click on the morning noise
while I make oatmeal and tea. This is better than the dream
I used to have about a snake with a triangle head rising
from between her legs, while I screamed, "Get back
on the road, never mind the rocks; I'll distract it while you run!"
In the evenings, we meet for dinner, don't talk
about our days. In the evenings, we listen, shake our heads
in a purposeless way when it seems appropriate. She leaves
dishes in the sink, covering the counter. I'll lie in bed,
later, thinking about them. When I wake,
I'll get to them while my tea boils. The dishwasher's almost
full. That's another week, gone, a new one, starting. I'll think
of this and laundry, ironing that needs doing. What she thinks,
I don't know. Work tomorrow and what must be done?
She is a dent beside me. Most nights, I forget she's there.
CL Bledsoe is an editor for Ghoti Magazine http://www.ghotimag.com. His first collection, Anthem, is forthcoming later this year from Cervena Barva Press.