Separate Rooms
by Gary D. Smith

Our attempts at demarcation have always failed at dinner,
when the boys return from school,
the air narrows into bands where we retrieve
the second-hand, and try not to stare

and we listen to the boys for relief,
they talk in high chirps of their forays on the basketball court,
or of the names of supposed girlfriends which they
trade like baseball cards, neither of which they really know
what to do with

we eat dinner in the kitchen,
which is open-hearthed and odorous of cooking
for a mile upon approach,
which is why our boys are always hungry
when they arrive from school.

The corn saws at the horizon, the filling
is prepared for the cake, and we return to separate rooms again,
not because we seek recrimination,
but that we lack alikeness, having lost
so many puzzle pieces over time,

having scattered them and us
on too many meetings of the sky,
ourselves on equal planes of desertion,
consent to this humane extinction.

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