I sit on the front porch, reading, while Carole meanders in the yard, picks up sticks from
the grass, puts them in a garbage bag. When I’m done reading a page and all I want to do
is stare at the house across the street, a dog, a loose stick that she hasn’t picked up yet, I put
the spine of one book inside the other. Today, it’s Glass, Irony & God and The White Book.
Each morning, we tell each other what we have to get done. I need to write a poem, answer
some emails, take a nap. She needs to work in the yard, take a nap, eat a tomato.
Once, I was talking to an acquaintance about Chicago. “My housemate is from Chicago,” I said.
They looked surprised. “I didn’t know you were married!” I hadn’t realized how close
housemate and husband are, in sound and practicality. The wind starts and my pages flap
wildly, so I go inside to call my parents. They, I’m sure, would be happy if I had a husband
from Chicago. He would take us to a White Sox game and The Bean, where we’d see each
other new and reflected. Carole shows me pictures of her baby grandson and talks about
when I have one someday. I like to imagine spreading thin oil on its skin after evening
baths, chubby fingers sifting through a sea of carpet. What If I only ever marry
my different versions of home? Love is poires belle helene made with
the last contents of our fridge, spoon licking, chocolate lips.