I overhear them talk about
their problems from where
I sit above them on the staircase.
She is angry at the whole world
for where she’s stuck tomorrow
and the next day into on and on and on.
He has heard it all before and tells
her something different.
I can tell just based on how he waits
and listens. Everything she’s saying
is an illusion built up over several
years now in her head.
He wishes they were dead to see
what those different problems would be
and how they’d stack up with the need
to eat and sleep. She hates when things
start getting deep as she’s comfortable
brushing the surface with harmless
complaining. She hates his explaining
and how it’s always down to her and never
from a level place of corresponding respect.
How much more can we neglect like the wet
packaging in the grass, and all the rotting pares
beside them with no tree around for miles
in any direction.
They open up the rusted gate to the pool deck
that sits at the center of the complex
and both jump in without another word
between them. Sitting on the top step
I look down at my broken watch then up
again at all I’d been ignoring.

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