Sunday, July 31, 2022

Nothing Terribly Surprising

The roommates were almost done
With the year and each other—
Although they still had three months

Left on the lease, they wouldn’t
Try making it through summer.
One was headed to England.

One had won a position
With an agency downtown
Writing and editing ads.

They’d played Odd Couple all year,
The fussy one and the slob,
Until they’d loathed each other.

The handsome, rundown building
With the fleas and hardwood floors
Would have to do without them

And their daily bickering.
The neat one was leaving first.
He imagined that the slob—

Who smoked in bed, while cooking,
In the bath—might start a fire
With no one there to watch things,

But the slob moved on, no sweat,
And went on to a good life—
One wife, multiple children

Who got good educations
Funded by his long career
With the same ad agency.

The fussy one did okay,
Stumbled through life, earned degrees,
Married a couple of times,

And finally got around
To looking up his roomie,
As if he were an old friend,

Inquiring about the good
Life, wife, educated kids.
They exchanged a few pictures

And book recommendations,
And then that was that. Awkward,
But weirdly satisfying

Simply to know they’d lived on,
Whereas their building had burned,
Just a month after they’d left.

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