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Each to each and Solitary By Hollis Robbins



Each to each


The night before our last couples session,

In the span before the marriage finally broke,

I dreamt of pears and, forlorn, awoke

In no mood to ponder a connection:

Those were days of caged and constant tension

When a hopeful olive branch just might provoke

The sun—or else long days when no one spoke. 

That day I overheard a student mention

She was going home to Manali for break.

Her family had found her a very good husband. So,

Naturally pious, and for her family’s sake

She would be bound. A date was set in June,

And in the real event of a monsoon,

They’d say their saat pheras under a rainbow.






There is a furtive echo you get used to

When you spend enough time waiting for the sound

Of the footsteps of the guard on midnight rounds.

It tells you that you’ll do what you’re supposed to.  

It reminds me of the summer nights I used to

Fish at night without a light to hear the sounds

Of screenporch cocktail laughter drifting down 

Where I listened still and silent well past curfew.

It was worth it still despite the midnight beatings.

Fish helped but fishing wasn’t why I went.

I wished to see how normal people spent

Their time on ordinary summer evenings.

I tended not to do what I was told to.

And the whispers told me where I would be sent.