We finally decided to leave each other.
To throw in the towel as they say, which
makes me think of our love as some
red-faced boxer, lips ballooning, eyes
disappearing inside themselves--or,
as some laboring woman, belly round, heeing
and hawing, our love trying to push out
new life, and us, two scared nurses, dabbing
away the sweat on her brow or cleaning
the blood from his busted lip. Our love:
not pregnant, no good left hook, but
it did put up a hell of a fight. We chose
to forfeit, to finish it. Our love: some
shitty novel or a board game that just
goes on and on forever—just end it!
Maybe it's an animal stuck down
by a car. I’ve heard deer make the most
human of noises as they die—just
end it. The night we did, we slept
the kind of touchless sleep that follows
a funeral. I woke midday to the sound
of stillness, nothing, and knew where
our love lives now. Our bodies
refusing to rouse to a world bled of it.
Some part of us wanted to stay there,
in the in-between, where the baby
isn’t a stillborn, where the deer runs off
into the meadow, where the boxer
just gets up punch after punch
and the rounds go on forever.