The Theater

Abstract illustration of planes descending to land, on a bright aqua-and-orange background
Paul Spella / The Atlantic

We browsed and as usual that one I hadn’t read.
At showtime we lay down between the stacks
where we could only listen to the actors. Our faces close,
my hands tucked under my chin and legs drawn up
like an animal’s. I felt such tenderness for you and knew
it wasn’t returned—this as usual I couldn’t understand.
When, earlier, our plane landed in the river
behind another that had done the same,
dunked its passengers before pulling itself
up and over to the gate with no casualties,
you weren’t surprised. You had that
confidence we wouldn’t sink. I couldn’t understand it
but both of us were walking through the gate by then,
untouched by danger. Surprise was my own possession.