Love Song for a Divorcee and College Towns in Summer

Erin Elizabeth Smith

There’s a moment I have
sitting on your couch. You’re in the kitchen
and I understand it now,
what we’re doing
in this town that dies around us
in summer when things shouldn’t thrash
the way that they do.

In bed you ask what I want,
and I think about the man I left
how sometimes I imagine
he was all that I needed. His lap warm
in the winter and when the sun
was as determined as today
I would sweep our floors and sing
and there was a sweetness in that
my body hungers for.

Then are days when I wonder
if you still love your ex-wife,
sometimes at least,
when you’re sitting on your porch
and the night seems to swallow sound.
What you found in her
that you do not now – the small routines
that make up a marriage.
Wonder if when I’m asleep
in my own bed or staring at my walls
as if my body has become
a monument for all the women I thought I’d be,
if it’s me you’re thinking of

or this town, how the roads all lead inward
all lead to the same places
that never close. How I would have
liked to have known you
somewhere else, when we weren’t so tired,
so out of place. In bed
you are saying my name
like you want something in me,
but sometimes I’m afraid
you just want out

of the corn of the cobblestone of the springtime magnolia.
Want out of this town
where everyone knows they will leave. But us,
we probably won’t get far
not as far as we’d like
because we’ve already lost all the things
that we wanted and how do you let yourself
want them again?

“Love Song for a Divorcee and College Towns in Summer” was previously published at Gold Wake Press

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