cook lobster. They're loyal sea rubies and deserve
better than a pinch of lemon and herbed butter.
But I'll shower hot enough to brighten you, make
zinnias of your shoulders and steal the towels when
it's over, your water-tattooed back a garden before it
fades. I won't shave anything unless I feel like it, but
I'll wax whatever part of your body you request.
I'm not an empath, so I won't cry when I do it. I'll let
your pain be yours. I won't give up coffee or pistachios
or my dog. I know you wouldn't ask, but I like to be
up front about my boundaries. I bark mine like a seagull,
touching my books, my mother’s china, my chest,
but you’re fine with kindness. You wait for me to feel
safe. I will always let you tease me about talking
to my plants when I water them if you let me tease
the way your hips go stiff when we salsa, but even then
I won't plan another trip to Rome with you. Not this
year anyway. Not after we've given back the tickets
and calendars, dinners and sunburns we thought were
waiting. Instead let's accept the mail order lemon trees.
Let's accept repeating puzzles we've already finished,
try the paloma recipe again. Let's accept it's not what
we would do for each other, but what we can do,
and I can feed the sourdough starter we named Gizmo.
You can return my bowl when you've washed it. But
I won't let you say Pluto is not a planet—I miss the solar
system's symmetry. I won't agree that ghosts aren't real,
even if you're right. I like a dose of fear. I like whispering
back to the knocks on the wall. I won't release balloons
when you die because I love sea turtles almost as much
as you. Maybe it's a tie. I won't kiss anyone after you die
for at least 60 days, and probably longer, but if I meet
someone who smells like you, I might invite them into
the rain and keep my eyes closed. We can disagree about
the shower curtain, can have days without texts. I can
chide you about the state of your tomatoes, and you can
correct the way I say trilobite, and the only time I'll run
is across the gymnasium in a pink dress, and the only time
I will give up is in hearts, when I count the cards and know
your hand, and yes, I want to help you shoot the moon.