I’ve memorized the sound of your
footsteps on the chapped linoleum
floor each morning at six o’clock
as you get up to pour yourself
some cereal with plump banana
slices floating on the top.
Their seeds make a little flower
shape which reminds me that I
need to water the daffodils you gave
me before they get dry and papery in the
vase. And when you boil water on the
stove I hear the blue teacups rattle
in the glass hutch, and that makes
me think that their teeth are chattering
in the cold like ours did that time we 
slipped across the frozen pond for hours,
our cheeks so scarletly feverish that
neither of us noticed when we started
shivering. And when I hear the newspaper
crumple I want to know the answer to
17-down of yesterday’s crossword puzzle and
if anyone we know has gotten married or died
recently. At the faucet’s gush and the two-minute
sounds of recommended dental hygiene 
I am reminded that I need to call and
schedule you a follow-up appointment
with the oral surgeon. And then when I
feel your lips press gently against my
forehead I pretend to be asleep even
though you know I’m awake because 
my eyelashes are fluttering. And every
time I hear the yawning of the door that
signals your departure, I can’t help but think—
Living is just what we do to pass the time.