The Argument

Friday, January 15, 2021

I came at you like an off-duty sanitation worker.

“Where the hell is that stack of prescriptions I left on the counter?”

You replied not unlike a colloquium of professors

hedging their bets. “It’s in the hedge, I bet.”

I said, “You threw it out the window?” like a monk

staring at a half glass of warm water. “Not really,”

you effused, suffusing the room with aromatic post-lunch

exhalations. “They blew out when I ope’d the winder.”

I said, “You speak like that now?”  You twisted up your face

like a tailor clutching the hem of a skirt while

holding back a fart. “I am just busy,” you explained,

the way my mom used to explain things. I replied,

“I’ll go look in the garden,” and began to trudge toward

the door, the way people trudge toward doors

when they’re on a mission to find their prescriptions.

“Good luck” you called after me, but I had already left,

was out of earshot, was out of patience, out of lists

of things to be out of, even. “Best wishes,” you shouted.

“Arrivederci,” I whispered, but I didn’t mean it.

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