denouement 

La Colombe - Chicago, IL
La Colombe – Chicago, IL

Very often what comes after happily ever after is told in big moments: the first kid, the second kid, the promotion, lay off, the divorce, etc. But, anyone who has been in a relationship long enough will tell you, if they’re being honest, that the days after you ride off into the sunset are filled with little victories and little battles. It’s these, and not the big moments, that determine whether the course of love runs smoothly or if it knocks everyone around, dumping them in the water too often for our liking.

It is to that effect and in that headspace that I wrote the following poem.


denouement

Just this once.

The argument, then the words you really mean to say as you white knuckle through your lover telling you they’re done. Then the prayer. Screamed – bellowed – to god as though this was Friday night call-in at the local radio station, and if you could just be the fifth caller your song would play.

Just one more time.

Pretend that this is the very last time you’ll be in this place, that if granted romantic reprieve you’ll only ever have nights filled with inside jokes told under blankets on the couch you bought together, your first piece of real furniture, that you’ll allow yourself to take your licks, to be in the wrong and to never bring it up again.

Just this once.

Just one more time.

Bills are the quantifiable evidence of your life lived together, the trail of sneers you journeyed, from the day you clinked mismatched jars filled with cheap soda and reveled in turning on the lights together, promising that both your names on that electric bill meant you must be taking this seriously, to the spurned calculations

can I afford to continue this fight?

can I afford it to end?

Just this once.

Just one more time.

 

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