I fantasize, as we say goodnight
in your driveway, that we won’t
get used to anything, won’t take
each other’s company at breakfast
for granted, won’t become a pattern,
one that runs as regular
as the blood circulating our veins,
won’t become tallies in each other’s bedposts,
blueprints in the trash, though I know
that’s what happens. I’ve stopped
making promises to girls, but let me
say this: when I drive past a cornfield,
I crave not its produce, but its possibilities.
I recall the slow curve of your back
as your waist inched near me
that first night in July and think fondly
of the truck bed, the fireworks, America.
I know this feeling so well. It’s your hips
or the hips of all the girls I’ve ever been with.
Maybe every time I’ve fallen in love
it wasn’t a unique love, but a replicable one,
the repeated desire for orange juice
in my champagne brain. Equilibrium
is just as much fire as misfire,
just as much rough sex and home
cooking as forgotten anniversaries
and leaving the bar with strangers.
When my dog ran away, there was a dog-
shaped hole in my heart that I filled
immediately with a new dog.
When my girlfriend ran away,
the same. I can’t choose the feelings
that come with any folk song
playing in a coffee shop or the sudden
burst of lavender in spring that will always
smell like a past lover’s sheets, but I can
weigh the consequences of bitterness
against my memory of her tenderness,
of her hands in the dark quiet
of the bedroom, and I will tip the scale
always in her favor.
Lisa Summe was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and is a recent graduate of Virginia Tech’s MFA program. She works as Associate Editor of Toad, Senior Editorial Assistant of The Cincinnati Review, and is also a WebTeam intern for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Tampa Review, Smartish Pace, Lambda Literary, Salt Hill, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere.