After the Argument
Whoever spoke first would lose something,
that was the stupid
The stillness would be a clamor, a capo
on a nerve. He’d stare
out the window,
she’d put away dishes, anything
for some noise. They’d sleep
in different rooms.
The trick was to speak as if you hadn’t
spoken, a comment
it wouldn’t be counted as speech.
Or to touch while passing,
of clothing, billowy sleeve against
rolled-up cuff. They couldn’t
each other for more than one day.
Each knew this, each knew
the other’s body
would begin to lean, the voice yearn
for the familiar confluence
of breath and syllable.
When? Who first? It was Yalta, always
on some level the future,
the next time.
there was a cardinal on the bird feeder;
one of them was shameless enough
to say so, the other pleased
to agree. And their sex was a knot
untying itself, a prolonged
— Stephen Dunn
Listen to the author read “After the Argument”
Please add your comments and share this post with others!
Want a more satisfying relationship starting today? Get my free article:
75 Ways To Improve Your Relationship Starting Today — plus weekly blog posts delivered straight to your inbox!
(Use the Sign-up button on the right or below.)