I dig out the black sweater I brought from the home
that is no longer our home the way
you are no longer my wife
and withdraw again into your brother's city
that resembles no place we ever lived together:
blank trees overhanging immaculate lawns,
strip malls with burrito shops and tanning salons,
children who make games with their boredom.
He offers me work as we walk between houses.
He points out the chimneys that need replacing,
how the neighborhood practices neglect.
No piece of this landscape resists our expectations.
Some nights I sit up chewing antacids or cough drops,
thinking how we'd walk the buckle of avenues,
catching up on the smallest details of our time apart.
It was the last time I saw you alive:
yesterday, last night, a few minutes ago.
We once spent six years trying to decide what we'd do next.