The God of Small Things in one hand

The waist of my world wrapped around, the other

We sit in mezzo-silence,

My murmuring the words of Roy’s clever, crushing prose,

His warm, relaxed voice muttering words of affection and awe at my revelations,

In my ear

Specifically for me to hear

Megan plays her background music on the well-loved clarinet.

You’d think it’d have a name,

It being seven years old, and all.

But it hadn’t crossed either of our minds.

It just wasn’t significant enough to warrant one, I suppose.

Regardless, I take a break long enough to notice the tapping of his index finger on my thigh,

As if it were a drum.

As if he was afraid I would break.

Strange, since I consider myself to be one of the strongest minded and willed people I know.

He knows this.

Yet he still treats me like a glass explosive.

Fragile, but not hesitant to detonate when necessary.

He knows this.

And treads with daring caution.

Nonetheless, he keeps the time, even filling in the spaces reserved for the percussion accompaniment (tap tap tap tap)

It is unknown

Whether this is for her sake

Or his own.

I just know this is a risk he’s willing to take.


He’s willing to envision this being a future,

Us being a future,

Where he taps the time

On the middle of my thigh

Even when the music’s

Long stopped playing.


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