Love by Doug Dorph
He looks like a bowling pin, she looks like a ball.
All over the neighborhood, I meet them,
walking hand in hand, his stretching way down to hers.
They waddle walk as really fat, or stupid, people do.
When I climb the stairs and pass their apartment
I see them sitting at their kitchen table.
They always leave their door open at dinner time.
The smell of cabbage and old linoleum overpowers
His face is like a shy bell, fat and friendly at the bottom.
Her shape is shapeless with an overall impression
He has a gray-flecked crew cut and an expression like
She has wispy mouse hair and cackles through rotten
I small talk with them as they lumber up the stairs:
"You’re out late," I say. "We’re out late," he giggles.
"We’re out late," she echoes. "It’s late," he elaborates.
Poor, stupid, mismatched and ugly, they have love.
Yesterday, the Super told me that she was dead.
She had stepped out between parked cars and
got run over by a truck.
I walk up the stairs past their closed door
and picture him sitting on the padded chrome chair,
staring at the pearly formica of the kitchen table,
his big shy hands hanging between his knees, unheld,
and I cry.