Long after I married you, I found myself
in his city and heard him call my name.
Each of us amazed, we headed to the café
we used to haunt in our days together.
We sat by a window across the paneled room
from the table that had witnessed hours
of our clipped voices and sharp silences.
Instead of coffee, my old habit in those days,
I ordered hot chocolate, your drink,
dark and dense the way you take it,
without the swirl of frothy cream I like.
He told me of his troubled marriage, his two
difficult daughters, their spiteful mother, how
she’d tricked him and turned into someone
he didn’t really know. I listened and listened,
glad all over again to be rid of him, and sipped
the thick, brown sweetness slowly as I could,
licking my lips, making it last.
Copyright © 2011 by Andrea Hollander, Landscape with Female Figure: new and selected poems, 1982-2012 (Autumn House Press, 2013).
One thought on ““Ex” by Andrea Hollander”
Oh, my. I could have written that. I had an Ex who used to call me out of the blue from time to even after I married my husband. I listened to him talk about his life, on and on, just listened, partly out of guilt for having left him for the man I ultimately married, but mostly because it was confirmation of how wisely I chose.
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