Perhaps now that he sleeps beside you it doesn’t matter that their beginning was built upon burnt orange terrazzo, that when it rained he walked behind the shield of her umbrella. That she slid under the water with her hands on his hips, silvered moonlight flashing on the surface, glint of a mermaid’s tail. That the whole of her heart was shadow, that every shadow was twined with thorn. When her second heart slipped away before it could be heard or held, there was nothing to cherish and yet nothing to mourn. Then: piles of ash spilling onto the table, slow swirl of smoke lifting into stale air. Reflection of pines serrating still rainwater, a tangle of stars shoved hastily in a drawer. The whole of him elsewhere promised: Tutto il mio cuore. His rising cadence, a door that won’t latch. Cuts on his palms that never heal. But what of it, now that he exhales the vapor of dreams unremembered upon your shoulder. See how your body fits into the hollows she stripped bare. So perhaps it doesn’t matter, the cost of their rapture. That unnamed sorrow. The waste of your offering. His elemental indifference.
Jennifer Molnar is the author of the chapbook Occam’s Razor, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hawai’i Review, So to Speak, The Ledge, Salt Hill, Best New Poets, and others. She received her MFA from George Mason University and currently resides in New York.
Photo by Tomas Flint