Drops of Jupiter Part 3, Spring 2001

clay box

Your conversation that spring semester

warmed me like the bright sun

on winter afternoons.

Marriage blindsided me

with its onion peels

petty arguments

and unpaid bills.

Our talk became an oasis

in my long days and lonely weekends

while my new husband worked overtime

in his final semester.

May brought fresh hope:

a new apartment

a new job

a new summer session

before December graduation.

We listened to pop music

while we built clay boxes in summer ceramics.

Drops of Jupiter played incessantly:

you hated the line about fried chicken

but I found it playful.

I knew you too well.

I talked more in one day with you

than in a whole week

with my distracted husband.

Our three-hour conversation blocks

chapped me in secret

and my silent frustration escalated.

Dare I disturb our universe?

In the time and space constraint

of that summer session

the teacher fired my memory box lid

intact with the base.

I could view its lovely yellow interior

only if it shattered.

I chose to keep it sealed

rather than destroy

what I’d worked so hard to build.