That was the year nothing could keep us apart,
our bodies chiming in concert like church bells,
our fingers interlaced like daisy chains.
Whatever the weather, we found it apt.
If it was cold, we stamped our feet with pleasure.
If it was hot, we embraced the sultriness.
We drank champagne for breakfast thirteen
days in a row. We revised our collective memory
to excise anything that hadn’t led us to the present.
A sprinkle of thyme and coriander on braised
artichokes. A goose garnished with wedges
of orange. I ate everything you cooked.
Then it crumbled, inevitably, we agreed, in hindsight.
What had once been as sweet as freshly cut sugarcane
now smelled as foul as a bucket of chum.
Your husband was back from the war, and you clamped
down on what you called “public distribution
of the narrative.” For weeks, a vein throbbed in my forehead.
In sum, you were no Clytemnestra and I
was no Ægisthus. I drove back, defeated, to Manhattan,
Kansas, bass drum thumping in my car speakers
like some monstrously overbeating heart.