Voices on the Wind
Voices on Waiting
Halfway through the Relationship I’m Leaving
Ars longa, vita brevis—Hippocrates
by Nadine Lockhart
You write me endless emails during workdays.
If I reply, you reply, “Buried. Get back to work.”
If I don’t, you’re looking around again,
Those Internet dating sites where we met
When we were both alone, dead almost,
When you said, “I have no life,” and I
Turned that around, suddenly
Parking at the bottom of your drive,
Gone an hour out of my way.
Was going home, to another state, car
Overheating, take the sixty-minute detour anyway,
You meet me in the middle of summer,
Grab the handles of my luggage, carry them
The steep grade, “I’m not sure I’m staying.”
I follow, though.
Forgot to notice if there were clouds—
Only that it was dusk, and the apartment,
Three flights up. A good omen. Ascension.
But you’re strange, and pale. And I was
Disappointed in your looks, the mouth area,
The jaw. Something there, or perhaps,
Not there. The ends of your fingers . . .
Spatulate. The good: Your hair, a thinning
Gray I mistake for blond, and I say, silently,
“Don’t put a face on it, like you always do.”
And by morning, I’m there three days, trusting
Everything like a poet living in the symbolic.
I tell myself, “Give it a change, give it a chance.”
And I do. A fat chance . . . I’m still me.
You call all your friends to find me
A place of my own, once a room comes through,
You ask me to stay, live with you. I notice
No pictures on the walls, no pictures on the walls
And a peculiar, required silence when we eat.