By Amanda Roth
after Matthew Olzmann
So here’s what I’ve got, the reasons why our marriage might work: Because even after all this time, we can still make each other laugh. And when we can’t, when you cannot muster even a smile for me, you can make our kids laugh to the point of peeing. Because no matter the argument, I still exhale at the sound of your footsteps, the sound of the office door opening at 5:01. Because we managed to fall in love in the dead of winter, snow piled and brown in the gutters. Because even in that silent morning, when we did not yet have a name for each other, I saw us side-by-side as snow-covered stones. Because fifteen winters later, when our pipes froze and the power went out, you wrapped our spigots in Christmas lights and propped up the tree limbs heavy with ice. We spent those nights sleeping on the kids’ bedroom floor, trying to conserve heat. Because in the spring, we found our love dead on the vine, and when we stood around it and wondered if it could be saved, you pulled the Fool, with his fresh starts and wild abandon. Because by the first night of summer, I was holding your warming hands in my sleep.
Amanda Roth (she/her) is a poet and folklorist living in Central Texas. Her debut poetry collection, A Mother's Hunger, was released in 2021. She has been published or is forthcoming with Portland Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Kissing Dynamite, Literary Mama, and elsewhere. Online https://msha.ke/amandarothpoetry.
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