The mood felt right that night
when he saw his significant other
sitting alone at the dining room table—
hair pinned in a messy bun
and bare shoulders exposed
beneath a kitchen pendant light,
she kept her face buried
between two pages
of the local newspaper.
So he rushed into the bedroom
dug it out from the mouth
of his bureau cabinet
and gave her what he thought
she really wanted: his poem.
And while she began
to whisper the title to herself,
he leered at the kitchen clock
from across the room
and recalled the dreaded hours
this idea originally took to brainstorm,
followed by the countless weeks
he swore by the mantra:
Draft! Doubt! Destroy! Repeat!
Concluded by the several months
of fine tuning, procrastination,
refilled Xanax prescriptions,
and inevitable abandonment,
until he finally found the courage
to present the final draft
that evening two years later.
She finished it under ten seconds.
Staring at him afterwards as if
it reminded her of something else
before going back to her paper,
turning to the obituaries.