By Laura Kolb
We buy carnations at the bodega
pale yellow, striped pink, all winter,
on and off. I smoke emergency cigarettes
leaning on a wall at City College
getting over that divorce. You buy
popcorn, but the sublet doesn’t
even have a microwave. We buy beer.
The bodega guy cuts prices,
asks me out, asks you out. There’s
no anonymity in this city, not really.
I say yes then no. I buy milk and ramen.
You say yes but keep changing plans.
We buy a pint of Chunky Monkey
frozen so hard I slice it with a knife.
Eventually we will just have to move,
driven off by gratitude and guilt,
a kind of enormous tenderness. How
sweet after all, how sweet
to mistake these things for love
About the author: Laura Kolb teaches literature at Baruch College in New York. Her poems have appeared in Contrary Magazine and the Columbia Review; she has written prose for Electric Literature and the TLS. She can be found (sporadically) on Twitter as @B_as_in_Boat.