He pulls away to answer
his muzak-blaring phone. His alarm
spreads my grin. Not because
it’s the ringtone assigned to his son-in-law,
a conversation about running errands
I track from his bed
draping my limbs across myself like a sculpture.
But because he keeps me his
audience as he touches himself. He drags the argument out
watching for my impatience to rise. His steady gaze
a reminder that
as an apparition, I own nothing
but my summons. This is not the poem for me
to take his ring off with my teeth.
So polite, he apologizes for the interruption and curses his wife
on my behalf.
I do not hate her, nor him, but
this shared boredom we know
won’t resolve swapping breath
with another body. A tired slow dance.
I dress; he strips
the bed. A crumpled pile of our expired desires.
She will only smell the absence. One fewer item
on his list today. A boy’s whistle from his lips.
Lucas Wildner lives in Seattle, where he is repairing his relationships with English and German and... His debut chapbook, Fluency, will be published this summer from Ghost City Press. Forthcoming and recent work can be found at Ghost City Press, Pidgeonholes Magazine, Homology Lit, and elsewhere. On Twitter, sadly: @wucas_lildner.