While cleaning off the chalkboards
she worried that she’d never find
a balance for when things went wrong
or right. In falling snow she walked
to her car and through a distant
window saw a light.
She knew the room in which it burned
beyond the redbrick flaking in the cold,
and didn’t do as she was told, heading
for the doorway fogged with ice.
Red salt crunching underfoot she took
a final solid look at the night sky
still blue by the skin of its teeth.
The stairs spiraled up with one bulb beaming
down that made the steps almost invisible.
She stumbled in the middle and tore her
stalkings on the salt tracked from her shoes.
She wanted all his boring news and to see him
working late into the night. Jogging up the final
flight, the door to the room was covered
in empty platitudes.
Without knocking
she let herself in, and saw him there
within a grin. Wrapped up
with a girl half his age,
wearing only a necklace.

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