She wakes in the morning to look


out the window at the spaces in the air


where there should be birds.


From the bed I watch as she stretches,


her shoulders changing colors


in the light. "This is the last time," I try to


promise. "It's okay," she tells me,


rubbing her eyes. The last time


we visited Chicago the saxophone


player on Michigan Ave. told her


that she was an ocean. You're an
ocean, babe.
The next morning


we shuffled into the brightly lit


hotel lobby, the only couple in our


pajamas, everyone eating pancakes


in the graying dawn. Now it is the last


time ever. She turns to the window


again, raises one arm above her head


to check her underarm for stubble.


In a few hours she will kiss me good-


bye before letting my hands drop and


climb into her car, leave for work,


release me back into the world again.

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