by Gary Percesepe


What Did We Fight Over?

Makeup and clothes, boys sometimes.

The car, the prom, the right to—

But clothes, mostly.


What Were Our Names?

Vanessa and Amelia,

Charbe and Rhonda,

Karen and Beth,

Gabriella and Lisa.


Where Are We Now?

Rome and Amsterdam,

New York and Nairobi.

Ohio. Might as well be Jersey.


What Do We Do?

Stare at bridges

And planes that bank

Overhead. Signal turns,

Leave vapor trails. At

Jobs clerking, counting, typing,

Phoning, joking, drinking,

Eating, undressing, texting.

Zumba in the half light of

Vacant winter nights.


What Do We Hope For?

The swift turnover of

Days, the weekend music

The baby's breath soft in the

Crib by our nighttime

Lips, moist with hope.


Why Did We Do It?

The soft rain told us otherwise

But we went on chirping,

Oblivious. The layered

Days concealed a lot.

We thought the kingdom of

Lies far from us. Husbandry

We thought we had mastered.


What Did Our Mothers Tell Us?

That we'd be happy, sober, sorry,

Broke, miserable, too far away,

Too close, lousy with money,

Prettier in pink, better with

Bangs, without. Small breasted but

Kind. And to call, mostly.


What Do We Resolve?

To be understood. To sleep.

Keep more in mind by tomorrow.

To stop wearing toy wristwatches.

To smooth the

Wrinkles of days that pass

Like silent trains through

Backyards we meant to tend.