I watch her walk inside, tall and slender
as she was when we first met. How did
I look then, before the birth of my last child?
We met again at random places, the bank, library, store.
After much trouble, we were ready
to be born again, given love and freedom twice.
We were pregnant with ourselves. I stroked her back
all night, and we both gained fifty pounds.
Well, maybe forty, her, and sixty, me. We laughed until we peed.
This is not the way into another’s heart: “Do you always keep
so much trash by the door?” I cleaned underneath the fridge
and to the carpet, opened a closet impacted to dismay.
Indulgence was the balm for ruined hopes, sacrifices made
sustaining the charade. We have no time for pretense, now.
On a good day, I do half of what I thought was scarce enough.
We have closets without doors. Anyone can judge us,
but not as harshly as we do. Writing is distilled truth
forced out of turmoil into potency. I adore my second life. I do!
My former husband fixed our toilet. His wife, our sweetest friend,
bought flea collars for our pets. We can’t afford to play,
but still, we do. We make the world, surviving life.