But love is a rusting machine
you call to have serviced over and over again,
hoping the pieces won’t have to be replaced. Again and again
you apply the grease until the engine inches forward.
Between lifetimes you say words to your wife
unrelated to phone calls from the kids’ school
or the leak dripping into the attic.
In the middle of grading a terrible essay
you remember how much you admire her,
and you send her an e-mail from the living room.
And if neither of you has fallen asleep,
you lock the bedroom door.
And in the middle, one of your children knocks
from the other side
of the universe.