The long day softens,
and just as my body begins
to ease its beseeching,
her family arrives—
her mother’s heartless fingernails,
her little brother’s fury,
Grandpa Harry’s penis joke,
and, fresh from smoking
weed out by the garbage cans,
her sister, careening, her attempt
to kiss me on the mouth,
stumbling, falling onto the kitchen floor—
How We Met
Do I have any pets?
“I’ve been wanting to get a dog. I’m kind of an old soul,
and I think dogs also tend to be old souls.”
Psychobabble to convey depth—
I don’t like dogs.
She finishes her steak,
Faint lipstick fragrance: gardenia.
“You smell good,”
which I considered saying earlier.
The waiter asks if we have room for dessert.
I am in her purse,
jiggling around with the loose change.
How We Met
She walked behind me at first, then alongside. When I reached home, she simply walked in, sat down, and immediately fell asleep. She woke, as if at the end of a long illness. We ate grilled fish and sat together in silence. She spent the night and the following day, which turned into another, and soon a week had passed. We got along. She came and went as she pleased. I often watched from the window, never sure if she’d return, certain one day she wouldn’t, and one day, she didn’t. Looking back, she both was and was not what I needed at that time. Some days, it felt as though the two of us had been shipwrecked together, a random companionship. Others, our union felt inevitable. She lived deep in herself, spent hours sitting still, museum-quiet, in a posture somewhere between dignity and disdain, like a cat. I realize now, in retrospect, that she may, in fact, have been a cat.