Poetry and Poetics
Couple: (Mech.) pair of equal and parallel
forces acting in opposite directions
Matching some mine with yours, are we a pair?
I alphabetize our vast library
while you hang pictures, revealing a flare
for measuring walls. Do our tastes agree?
The basement hoards our secondary lives:
my leather skirts, high heels; your chessboards, mats
for meditation, keyboards, power drives.
Upstairs we share a wedded habitat.
Suddenly we have two of everything:
his-and-hers alarm clocks—mine, battery-run,
beeps several times when it decides to ring.
Yours—electric—flashes red: 8:01.
Two hammers, two flashlights, two pots for tea,
a pair of ironing boards (yours, unused),
plus several teams of cutlery.
Each object, once spotted, seems reproduced.
“All good things come in pairs,” the auctioneer,
eyeing my botanical prints, declares.
We keep each set, but store (just for a year)
all duplicates: my chintz couch, your leather chairs.
We’re newlyweds and – who’s whose better half?—
although we can’t agree, we try to share.
Snuggling beneath a wedding photograph,
we now play Hearts instead of Solitaire.
© by Elise Paschen
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