I’ve been listening to our neighbors pack up to leave as I stir to keep the rice from burning.
What did they find out
in the time between our wedding
and one year later? Did we interrupt
their silence on the other side of the wall,
listened to usual moving day chatter
about the thrift store table,
and items we hoarded for a month?
The clink of utensils on china as we spooned our first Sunday meal
seeped through the walls with the savory aroma as we sat down to
meat loaf (your favorite)
and corn I knew you wouldn’t touch.
Did they ever pass us by on the street or the mall,
catch a glimpse of our courtship, then reminisce?
Like us, they are married too, so they probably nod
patiently as we balance grocery bags on the edge
of bursting, knowing the debates before us
(does ketchup go in the pantry? The fridge?).
It’s the little things that creep into the honeymoon
phase as we notice the fine creases in our upbringing
like the way he calls for a washcloth before a shower,
and I simply call it a “small towel”.
Or how he wakes up early while I savor the sleep in
on a day off.
Yes, the little differences, but
Did they understand how the night and day
of you and me
completed the bricks
before our first key,
I’m hearing a voice rise for someone in another room. I’m opening the oven to check on the progress of our evening plans.
How soon before they realized we were night owls,
hearing entwined laughter,
the glow of a TV screen at 1 am,
before submissions to sleepy kisses
and a fluid embrace?
We found how to appreciate quiet
after our entry level grind,
let tourists have Bourbon Street
as we sank together on the couch,
then soak in another molasses Sunday.
They are hauling furniture to the moving van. I’m setting
the table as the meatloaf cools.
Soon, it will be just me and you again,
left to discover more of the post-altar underground,
daytime adult business,
and drowsy eyes at the orange-pink
view from the balcony once dusk sets in.
Listening to how we survived another day
creating a unit from the supernatural seed,
still life moments fit for the Polaroid
while looking back, but today, coping
with my jumpiness as you silently
enter the living room for the first time
all over again.