(n.) “Compulsion to move.” A chess term referring to a situation in which a player would like to do nothing (pass), since any move will damage his position.
Not that it mattered in the beginning
but there were patterns. I saw three moves
to your bishop, six to your rook, nine to your queen
and then a slow game of pawns. Almost at mate,
I forgot the axes running to the corners,
failed to anticipate your casual sweep of the lanes,
one side of my board plucked clean like a branch of wild
anything. You opened a window to let out the heat.
We started again. It felt good to keep playing,
to do one thing well over and over again.
Maybe that's why I liked
the pizza place around the block that burnt our crusts,
why you could not wait to move uptown,
away from the martinis, mochas, and Marc Jacobs.
Our new home was several blocks from anywhere.
Half a mile out the buoy lights shined like rosary beads.
If we were quiet and mindful the trees around the lake
shook when we walked beneath them.