He found her number in the pocket
of his post-stressed, pre-bleached jeans
moments before he set the load to tumble
and cleanse the stench of singles night
from their ambient, non-committal threads.
She picked up the phone in a rush
of dried pasta and defrosting pizza
and - somehow - recalled a face to match
the pitch of nervous tones that tinned
in her velvet-hair ear, and she smiled.
There was a gap in the rain the day
they met for coffee, a space in the drops
that made a cozy fit for two, and a place
in the bustle of conversations for each
to hear the other listen and nod.
The bridesmaid was grasp-close to the cake
when a third tier strut broke. The best man
chose to wear the ring-bearing jacket. The vicar
was sober, and not yet under arrest. The pins
in the dress held. The dance was like dreams.
She cried to a point beyond tears on hearing
of her Papa's fat-embalmed heart; his last gift
arrived two days ahead of the forclosure note.
He cried, too, when the cage on his blade
failed; the firm compensated in nursery funiture.
Twins saved her stomach from multiple cuts
and the pre-eclampsia destined to heist
the second pregnancy; though contracting
mumps from his infant son or daughter helped
dampen the risk from her genetic destiny.
That first grey hair was a release, a contract
fulfilled. Two opposites combined; two individuals
merged and mixed and halved and stretched, played
and spent. Above the house a guardian demon smiles,
its work well-done. An atom of misery evolves.