I cross the small hall that connects our studies and ask to borrow his book again. He thinks it’s strange that I’ve taken an interest in soil: definitions, explanations, and formulas for dirt, clay, and sand. Actually a single phrase has attracted me, angle of repose — a technical term for how soil eventually settles. Tonight for dinner we had lasagna from the cafe down the street. We split a serving. It tasted sweeter than usual. We had to remove the newspapers and mail piled on the table to make a place for our plates. I remember the meals I used to prepare, maybe ten or twelve people around the table: Brunswick stew, corn bread, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, almond butter, heated debates, laughter. We are not unhappy. We enjoy our work and find pleasure in the smallest events: a favorite song on the radio, a brief embrace in the kitchen, the new comforter and sheets, a midafternoon nap, at night the weight of our bodies in bed.
This poem originally appeared in No Longer.