Midnight Telephone

“Guess what?
I won’t be seeing you ‘til Friday.”
You said.
Said too quickly.
Triumphantly, as if in punishment
(do you wish to punish me?)
Relievedly, the lifting of onerous compulsions.

I am a chore to you,
I know,
It is hard
(life is hard)
to be all things at once, and be them well.

So your mother issued a reprieve
(“So you don’t see him tomorrow; so what?”
She said,
I know –
I picture her very words –
The intractable logic of it all –
The finality of “so what?”)
And you eagerly snapped it up,
Relishing a day alone, wherein
I would not upclutter
The mill-race of your mind.

Sleep well, exhausted by the weight
Of doing all at once the things
Of life and love
in the separate channels of your will.

There is time to love me tomorrow,
Having barked your “Just leave me alone” today,
I will wait
(I think …).
After all,
Life if hard in the living.