we fed ourselves to the other
in careless chunks
across the chasm of night.
Pieces like wedding cake—
nervous smiles, yellow frosting on her chin,
crumbs caught in the corners of my moustache.
A photographer shouts,
“Hold it! That’s it. Perfect! Just like that. Smile.
No, big smile. Great!”
the maitre d’ counting heads like the years ahead of us.
Now we wear awkward tilted library books
wedged beneath our chins
where our hearts used to beat.
You must check for a pulse these nights
in the cast iron hum of the oil burner.
We feed our blankets to the center of the bed,
quilts uplifted like great mountain ranges—
the Andes some nights
some nights the Alps.
the cat sleeps across the Jungfrau.
That means young maiden in German.
I’m pretty sure the cat couldn't care,
looking only for heat trapped on either side of the
pieces of cake.
—Reed F. Coleman