will make you want to make love to him again,
though he hasn’t a clue how to make love
to a woman, and he loves those cigarettes more
than he loved you. Still, he’ll sit across a table,
in a brown, buttoned-front vest, his legs crossed
like a woman’s, his beard graying faster than his hair,
and the way he holds that cigarette in his fingers,
brings it to his mouth and closes his eyes –
you’ll remember a time, just a single year past,
when you sat talking, the June evening still lingering
in sunlight at the kitchen window beside you.
He said he was tired, that the world always seemed
against him, and you wanted to marry him
because you’d seen his brow burdenless in sleep.
That look on his face was what you wanted
from life, what you wanted to give him and
what you wanted to take from him every morning
before a breakfast of jam and bread, before the coffee
taste of his kisses (their pull at your lips), before
the orange glow in the cup of his hands just after sex.
You’ll remember lying together in a tiny twin bed:
Russian music on the radio, the scent of smoke
settling in your hair and the sheets, the feel
of his chest beneath your moving palm, his chest
moving too, pushing out the air that you breathed in.