We go only when you have squeezed my wrist at least once and the lawyer
has unintentionally tapped out ribs with his gold-tipped pen.
I open my mouth and tip my chair backwards. free now free here free fall
I take your hand across the kitchen table. you are square-backed. you have
a mouth on you. I take your other hand and admire my own symmetry.
The oven timer goes off. glazed duck for dinner!
You pack (both our) bags.
I open the fridge for a final check. Milk’s gone bad.
Chuck it, you say, smoking on the toilet.
Long haul makes you witch-fingered and unclean. Three times you think
(out loud) if you can wash your hair in the plane bathroom. I smile
at the attendant and press your hand between my legs instead.
In Naples I say, I’ve never been to Naples
and you look at me like you look at your mother’s single rococo chair
(with saintly tolerance) and press your handkerchief to my sweat-slick throat.
I tell you I’m going to die and you say bit late for that before stuffing
your handkerchief (sweat-slick-love-brined) into my mouth.
Suck on this, you say. (I forgot to buy throat lozenges).
Dark as fuck, you say as I count the knobs on the beggar’s clean-cream back.
You have your plum mouth tight and I am holding my heart in my tongue-root.
I say, cruel and you (correctly) assume it is about you.
K.S. is an aspiring writer from South Asia. Their work has appeared in The Daily Drunk, and they have more forthcoming with Sledgehammer, Koening, and Warning Lines. @conjugalspouse.