What There Is to Lose
I pretend to be content with our conversations
because I still like having sex with him
and I am afraid that, even after all these years
that if I don’t keep him talking
don’t act interested in what he’s saying
he might decide to leave. Even after sleeping beside him
for more than a decade
I’m afraid that if I don’t hang on every word he says
nod approvingly at all the right moments
in his ramblings about cars and work
and the driving conditions to and from work
that he’ll decide I’m also not very interesting
wonder why he’s sitting next to me at all.
Some days, I’m afraid to even let him go outside
in case he runs into the woman he’s supposed to be with
the one who finds all these musings on
back spasms and diarrhea attacks,
his problems with his mother
his problems with my mother
all the ways you can use Chinese pepper salt to enhance your cooking
completely fascinating and absorbing and yes
I know she is somewhere out there
waiting in the mismatched groves of birch and pine outside our home
hungering for what I will never let her have.
You wake me up to tell me
that the snow has come back
that the garden outside is completely
obscured in white. You say it much too loud
for this sort of news
for this early in the morning, almost joyful.
Half-asleep, the resentful part of me believes
perhaps you are responsible for the snow.
I drag myself out of bed and call the dog
who comes, joyful at the prospect of a morning walk.
I put on her leash and we step outside
into a world buried in white snow
the tips of new tulips, the green sprays of crocus
already shriveling and darkening in the cold.
Holly Day’s newest poetry collections are In This Place She Is Her Own, A Wall to Protect Your Eyes, Folios of Dried Flowers and Pressed Birds, Where We Went Wrong, and Into the Cracks.