Forget the coffee. We’ll pretendfrom “The Road” by Raymond Carver
we’re in a foreign country, and in love.
Forgotten, again, the coffee
pods—used, from your last few or three morning-made mugs—
are here and there, strewn; lewd travesties at a rued near-attention.
Stolidly broadcast and full in the way of any quick-sorted use
of the quaint coffee-bar-breakfast-nook we mutually share
in. Me? Galled, I’ll grimace and bear it, pretend this isn’t
a bother; that there’s near-nothing in my nasty-packed grab-bag
of bad habits that’s ever been close to akin. My skin crawls,
for an instant—an odd moving itch—and I switch: I’ve drunk in
some far-flung foreign state—a country to whose mother tongues
I’m bemusedly ignorant—and all I want is a simply made sandwich:
one I can easily chew and pronounce in my own low-blood-sugared,
quotidian cadence. To be free of everyday effort to swallow,
to fence-post the far limits of things. I just know I want out,
nothing more than to be queued and bone-tired, mind hollowed,
caffeine-cranky at customs, already half-way to gone. It’s a shock
to the system, then, when I’m all-at-once reflexively drawn
to your half-stifled yawn and languid soft steps coming—
a song, shuffled—from the bordering room. I’m aware of you,
unaware, of this us, of this assumed trip we’ve just taken. While you?
You are still home, and in love.