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Fake Anniversaries

by Barrett Warner

    I give her a bag of oranges.
    Each one is marked-up
    with love poems,
    maps of our relationship.

    I tell her if she wants
    to eat one she will have to peel
    the fact that I still love her.

    She gives me her gift,
    a collection of NY Times' puzzles.
    There are over 20,000 clues.
    "Great" I say "Now I can
    stop buying all those newspapers."

    We go to an Italian restaurant.
    The waitress spills Chiante on my jacket.
    "Let me help you" I say,
    and pour more of it on my sleeve.
    "We're getting separated" Sara explains.

    It is inevitable that parts of salad
    will land all around us.
    I begin with olive tossing
    in her general direction.
    Next course, carbonara,
    "No" Sara is saying.
    "Care for some parmesan?" I say.

    She drives me home,
    we witness two car accidents.
    I tell her to quit running red lights,
    but she's a zombie,
    the Jessupian Frankenstein,
    sewn together with parts of desire.

    At the house I push
    her hat away from her eyes.
    She's crying.
    She wants to go back to the day she left
    and stay this time,
    but I remind her
    that if we go back
    we have to go back ten years.
    I tell her, we can't go that far
    on one tank of gas,
    not even in her mother's Buick.

    "What if we get out and walk?" she says.


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