Air Conditioning Bill

by Jennifer Donnell

Back then, your feet on mine, rhymed,

as we indulged in the careful exploration of toe on toe,

our blankets snug,

we were practicing being grown up,

young lovers turned parents,

and I would tell you that, sometimes.

Doesn't this feel so much like we're grown ups now, I'd say,

but you didn't like that because you 

wanted to pretend we already were.

Your face at nineteen 

is something I'll always love more 

than other faces,

even as soured as yours became

from the years, 



infidelity (plural), 

lack of love, mistakes,

missteps, our cold feet.

I left you one winter when your feet stayed

on the other side of the bed

and you told me it was selfish

to want to warm myself with touch.

The last night, I shivered in bed until three a.m.,

the blankets wouldn't work,

but I reassured my heart

that my next love would be warmer.

He was.

And our air conditioning bill was so high we could't afford it.