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Read by Louise Mathias

In various suites the newlyweds carom
and — slapdash — suck, hum, cough, release,

after which even the sheets are suggestive
of a draft, or a well-tied knot, or a sunken
dowry said to shimmer miles off the shelf.

Pretty soon, romance clings like an epiphyte,
crowding out even the heartiest principles.

One buys the other a clutch of Calla lilies;
One buys the other a weekend in Maine

where (somehow) not lost in cultivation,
“coral” goes on meaning “lobster ovaries,”
eaten poached, no less. It is a little much,

one whispers. The other: Tut-tut, my love, and,
you’ve got something right — no — right — here

Chad Temples is a freelance writer living and working in Atlanta, Georgia. He has recently completed his MFA at Hollins University.