How to End an Affair ~ Cindy King


As soon as you catch his eye, let it go,
and when he has your ear, quit listening.
If that doesn’t work, fall back into your body
whenever gravity returns. If nothing beats
the bars of his ribs, your pulse will no longer sing blue.
The air will cool, and make room for you, resume
its routine in your lungs. Permit cigarettes to burn
into ash, and there will be no more words for smoldering.
Ice will let down the empty wine bottles; they will sink to new lows
in the tub. When sweat forgives your forehead,
your conscience will harden like wax over honey. Only then
will it finally be morning, the sun giving up the horizon,
searching windows in succession as it rises. Expect your
faces to gray in its searchlight. Stars will stagger
up to night’s penthouse and the moon will unzip
the sky’s blue. Once the freight of your talk is unloaded,
switch rails, whistle with the empty boxcar of your mouth.
You can be sure that the washcloth will forget your face,
the bath towel will free his waist, and your shapes will be shaken
from pillows. And once you latch the door behind him,
watch the TV drama shrink to a single point of light.