Plot

Today I am all tops without tails,
titles without poems:
Rain Check
Bathtub Gin
Morphine, Mania
Middle School

I will all of these bright seeds
to bloom into verse.

Sunday, I sat laughing with you
and told you my novel went nowhere.
I was all character.
But I thrilled when you said:
you can count on me for plot.

Of Course

You make a good point.
Loving me is about more
than the dishes you don't empty from the washer
your way of clumping my wet clothes
together on the line
the bed unmade, morning and night
the towel on the floor, open drawers.

You are exactly right
that these are all small matters
like the meals you don't cook
taxes filed late
gifts unchosen, letters unsent.

Of course, of course
of course these things are not precious.
But I am.

Dumplings

On Wednesdays we sit
my foot resting against your calf
under the table
over plates of pan-fried dumplings
and a steaming bowl of soup

And I want to say how much
I need this
the gentle thing finding its way
between us
as we laugh
and tell our stories
of love's disappointment
the children we are raising
and a future so uncertain
I cannot name it