Complexities of long-term relationships


Complexities of long-term relationships

I turn out the light 
on my side of the bed 
and roll on to my side 
and fold my arms, hands 

in armpits, my thumb 
aching as it compresses 
into my shoulder either
from holding it this way

too many times for too 
many years or from using
it too many different ways 
for too many years and 

there is for a moment 
an ache in my gut like my 
balls have been kicked but 
it only lasts for a moment 

and—“Good night, love,” 
she says and, “Good night,” 
I say as I realize that three 
days have passed since our 

seventeenth anniversary
and we have done nothing
to celebrate and not because 
seventeen is not such a special 

year but because there is no 
money for it and—“There’s 
something on the counter
that’s shining a blue light.”

“It’s the little vacuum.”
“In the kitchen?” “No, 
dear. In the dining room. 
On the shelf. It’s reflecting.”

“Oh. I just hadn’t noticed
it before.” And I think, 
“It has been in that same 
spot for two months.”