We meet midway to walk white cobbles
under a fish-flesh gray sky.
Europe is collapsing; we are collapsing
always and again no matter how hard
we love one another. I don’t understand
our failure, where the feed loops
back and spits us into another country,
another junior suite reenacting this same,
same beat of a scene that begins, rises,
never ends, always ends?—
Our intentions don’t meet,
their courses set differently
by a force you don’t believe in,
could be as simple as life. I want
to be the wife you don’t want.
You won’t let go of my wrist.
I resist, threaten, bully, acquiesce.
We write the next act of The Alchemist
in New York, Lisbon, a beach,
a bar, star-crossed maybe
from different galaxies. You approach,
I retreat. You retreat, I reproach.
The manic two-step jitters
over North Africa’s dunes
farther than our hero, Santiago, can see.
I rise in the night to find the sharp knife
that came with the pears as a courtesy.