We Were Supposed

  We were supposed to go see a movie, get coffee, return calls, kiss, be alone, share a meal together, sleep on the same side of the bed, date, turn the radiator lower, find a studio, get two keys, move out for a while, get coffee, talk, see other people, get drunk, take a cab back to your place at two in the morning, fuck, return calls, date our friends, be angry, run six miles on the sidewalk, take a vacation, try again; get sunburned, sleep on the same side of the bed, reminisce, copy edit, get fired, find new jobs, move to San Francisco, eat only in Italian restaurants, get engaged, wear rings, wear black and console your mother, move back to Brooklyn, find an apartment, have your mother move in, be unhappy—paint the windowsills, drag your fingernails across the floorboard, over the socket with a dusting rag—be parents, buy diapers, find preschools with appropriate learning philosophies, read science books, play classical music, hire babysitters, write Christmas letters, go on family vacation (hate Disneyland, ride It’s a Small World, twice, because the kid loves it), go home, drive to rock concerts with your college friend Stanley, lock the bedroom door, go to Little League, scratch blood on our chests when the kid gets a concussion, play three-way catch, kick soccerballs, gain weight, go to funerals, move to Boston with the office, tell the kid he’ll like the new school, buy a basketball hoop, be pulled away from your mother in assisted living, drink two glasses of red wine at dinner, watch you drink no wine at dinner, stew, be bored in Boston—me walking alongside graveyards, discovering poetry cafes, coming home alone at four in the morning—drive the kid to school, take online classes, go on family vacation, have sex, write longer Christmas letters, watch a De Niro TV movie that hasn’t been on in a while, buy me a leather jacket and let me walk along the water, standing one foot leaned behind the other, watching people, watching men, tell the kid it’s not about him; do well in business, go on family vacation, argue on the balcony while the kid texts, come back, reminisce, edit applications, share a meal, bring your mother home, take prom pictures, shake the kid’s hand, bring the girlfriend on a weekend trip, feel the kid cry, explain love, put the kid’s head on our chests like we used to put ours, unpack the car on a college campus, walk around with college sweatshirts, watch the kid not turn around, wait for the kid to call first: buy books we don’t need any longer, pick grass stems by the river, press our names into each others backs with our fingers sitting on a park bench, stand at a gas station and let the gas drip, go see a movie, get coffee, return, kiss, be alone.