Divorce


We is
a word that I’ve given up
the way I quit smoking a month before the wedding
because your daddy didn’t approve.
An empty gesture
to him,
standing before our guests and rhapsodizing on
not losing a daughter but gaining a son.
Never has such banal a sentiment
been so pregnant with
malice.

Perhaps it isn’t fair
to
ask what happens to you now
or
to care (perhaps I don’t).
But there was a routine to living with you
and without it I’m not sure whether to
shave or brush my teeth first.
Some mornings, neither.

I suppose it’s my fault for not believing
love could save us.
But I couldn’t help
cataloging all the reasons you were too wrong to be right
for me.
Sometime around the thousandth blurry morning I woke up
facing you,
it no longer seemed worth the trouble
compartmentalizing.

What happens to us?
When did the fantasy girls start
looking like their mothers?
When did you?
In your make-up and tapered pants
you make a convincing metaphor for our neighborhood,
gentrified and costly.
I still see flashes of the city you once were
but obsolete telephone wires and
painted billboards
obscure every golden view.

We
made a go of it,
for better or worse
till life did us part.
And now we split
a half dozen years worth of memories,
some friends
neither one of us would miss,
and a collection of plastic mementos
that we’ll spend months
bitterly battling over.

I guess this is what they mean when they say
“Too young.”
I guess this is what they mean when they say
“Life is too short to…” well,
really, anything.
But if our 20s are the decade for
tragic love and decadence
this must have been our Black Thursday.
The end of the wild ride.
The day we woke up
no longer
we.

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