Marie Howe

Magdalene on Romance

I wanted him to stop drinking, to make

the bed, to pay attention, to wear shoes

instead of sneakers. I’d explain him to

himself so well he would come to love

as someone comes to a good idea.

I was a door slammer and a screamer

a professor, an explainer – a dog

instructing ducks.

Unlucky in love, I said, as one, then another

turned and walked, or I turned and left.

How quiet the room then,

when I sat down in the white wooden chair.