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.