Out of Sync

We are two watches

set for different time zones.

I steal across the bedroom like a thief

pants draped over my arm

shoes and socks in hand

while you sleep on.

 

I clean up after lunch

while you sit down for morning tea.

I soak up the tropical sun

while you hide under

two floppy hats

one inside the other

and hold a silver parasol

like a Victorian lady in Bombay.

 

You stay out of the water.

The one time you snorkled

you almost drowned.

The mere mention of seafood

leaves red dots on your skin.

I glide like a dolphin

through the waves

and disdain red meat.

 

You believe in saints and angels.

You recite novenas to Mary

for all your sick friends

while I believe in

a vague spiritual force out there

or a God who lost all interest

milennia ago.

 

Yet for all that

our two hearts

have been in sync

since I first saw you

standing in the parlor

a timid schoolgirl in her fifties

not sure whether

she wanted to be kissed.

 

(Originally published in Tulip Tree Review)

 

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