I’m not the guy you’d want to live with.
Take small talk—I’m no good, and when
you told me your hydrangeas bloomed
(puffs of powder blue outside the door)
I could barely nod, much less smile.
Take smiles—they seem so natural,
even my dog smiles, but me, I need
reminding that it’s time to get
those muscles working right. As for work—
I want things done, but when I’m pushed
I get exhausted before I try.
Although, I did try. Lord, didn’t I?

I’d like some grace: Take things in stride.
Like entering a room and if, say,
my shirt comes loose (the turquoise one
that reminds you of my eyes), I want
to slip it back beneath my belt with a wink
that says I can’t seem to keep myself together
and you’d know I was lying. In fact, I’d speak
all lies, beneath each one a truth you’d
recognize. My frown, a smile. The tilt
of my head, what words could never say.
Like those hydrangeas. Without you, no
blooms this year. And they’re hardly missed.