Your conversation that spring semester
warmed me like the bright sun
on winter afternoons.
Marriage blindsided me
with its onion peels
and unpaid bills.
Our talk became an oasis
in my long days and lonely weekends
while my new husband worked overtime
in his last semester.
May brought fresh hope:
a new apartment
a new job
a new summer session
before December graduation.
We listened to pop music
while we built clay boxes in summer ceramics.
Drops of Jupiter played incessantly:
you hated the line about fried chicken
but I found it playful.
I knew you too well.
I talked more in one day with you
than in a whole week
with my distracted husband.
Our three-hour conversation blocks
chapped me in secret
and my silent frustration escalated.
Dare I disturb our universe?
In the time and space constraint
of that summer session
the teacher fired my memory box lid
intact with the base.
I could view its lovely yellow interior
only if it shattered.
I chose to keep it sealed
rather than destroy
what I’d worked so hard to build.