She used to walk through the house, skirt rustling
like rain. How was he to know she’d end up drunk—
face puffed like a corpse in a lake? That they’d grow
as capable of savagery as they used to be of grace?
Long before the strain of life on the coasts, they
roasted each other after work at night, getting tight
together on gin & 7 Up. When it got too late
for her to read, or him to type, they’d fall asleep,
& share the same dreams, & sometimes wake up
in the middle of a thunderstorm. It would seem
as though the walls all had open eyes, & that the rain
could sing, & love would ring through the room.
Now, when they scream at each other like the world
might end, that’s the time he most likes to remember:
twin hearts, full, in the American heartland.
Whenever they stop shouting, & she’s back
to tugging on his sleeve, begging him to tell her
where he’s hidden her bottles, Robinson
searches her eyes for their old, smart gleam:
that sparkle like a diamond atop another diamond.