Are We There Yet?

You only have to make her one grilled cheese

in the suffocating heat of summer

while still wearing your wet swim trunks

to know what it's like to truly be in love.

And you only have to sit once

for a haircut in the air conditioning

with the lovely stylist to forget all about it,

and to forget anything in the universe

ever existed prior to the small, pink sweater

now brushing softly against your neck.

In this world, every birth is premature.

How else to explain all of this silence, all of this screaming,

all of those Christmas card letters

we hate about how well the kids are doing in school?

We're all struggling to say the same old things

in new and different ways.

And so we must praise the new and different ways.

I hate Christmas.

I miss you that much.

For I, too, have heard the screaming,

and I, too, have tried to let it pass,

and still I've been up half the night

as if I were half this old,

and just like you, I hate this kind of poetry

just as much as my life depends upon it.

They're giving away tiny phones for free these days,

but it's made a decent conversation

just that much more precious.

One medicine stops the swelling,

another medicine stops the first medicine.

Just like you, I entered this world mad and kicking,

without you, it's precisely how I intend to go.