Winter 1989 • Vol. XI No. 1 Poetry |

How to End a Romance

Snow has a way of falling Gently when the woman makes up Her mind, and it was doing that, Dusting her hair as he hoped To see it in the later years: Silvery. They were sitting By a salt river, having a say About love. He leaned toward her, But she shifted on the bench, Lit a smoke. As I said, snow Was falling, and now smoke Rose between them. Don't forget Breath. Breath is important In a romance. They could barely see Each other: snow, smoke, breath. And the man wore glasses, to make Matters worse. They were fogging up In the cold, and his face was raw. So much for mood. Little waves Below them would ripple and gnaw At the snowbank, splash another Hole in it. Something like salt Gnawed at his insides, but the woman Had a word for it: leave. I am going To leave you, she said. Lovers Say such things. They watch a word Cut to the heart and then they know The truth. They go on. Or don't: They want to be sure. So the woman Said the word again, and it cut Deeper to the soul, w

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