by Philip Wexler
Her pledges, at the outset, sincere, genuine
and most of all, honored. Thus, you took refuge
for a spell in the mirage of perfection. Inevitably,
the sheen began to tarnish. She was too quick
to give assurances. Her smiles were forced,
her air distracted, her look distant, lackluster.
She followed through without enthusiasm
or partway, or late, reminders notwithstanding,
or not at all. She didn’t care. She’d shrug
it off. This falling away which in the day
would have struck you as impossible is plain
and simple, the destiny you share and bear.
Looking back, you see the signs you missed.
The fault had been there all along, in wait
until the time it would reveal itself, deep, wide,
roaring, a chasm as she and your faith in her
fall out from under you, and as you drop you ask
yourself how you could have been so blind so long.
We pick them from our tree, roll
them wobbly in a brown and green
blur down the slope to the crates
by the van, to pack and haul them
off to give as gifts to friends.
What’s left belongs to us.
In three days when they’re ripe,
we take a bunch back to the tree
to picnic on with wine and cheese.
The juice runs down our chins,
while napkins blow away,
and we make sloppy love.
The Ball Rolling
She came into your office as she’s done
many times to tell you exactly what
she needed, and you spelled it out
precisely, omitting no detail, adding
nothing extra. Standing, she looked down
at her shoes, and you, from your chair,
out the window, and then she was gone,
mission, on the surface accomplished
to the both of your everlasting satisfactions.
A few hours later you thought of a reason
to go to her office, something optional
you’d meant to note, a “by the way.”
Behind her desk, she listened, fidgeting
with a set of keys. You leaned
against a bookcase for support. She agreed
with everything you said, and you wanted
to say more but couldn’t, and she seemed
to want to further your cause, if only
you could get the ball rolling.