They say it will end badly—
this happily-ever-after we’ve created

out of a truckload of books & kitchenware,
second-hand chairs & yellowed photographs.

The present, they say, is all that matters,
but how did we arrive here; & what of the past—

those dark rooms we so often find ourselves
wandering, trying to make straight

what was destined to remain crooked?

It will end badly, they say—
but in the afterlife I imagine for us

we’re lying in bed under the glow
of the paper lantern you bought in Laos,

mugs of tea steeping on our nightstands,
as you recite a new poem—repeating the words Lickspittle,

Lemon & Exquisite, as if they were a magic spell, or prayer—
your body rocking to the rhythm of each syllable.

What are you looking for?