Everything about the day was so obvious.
You were wearing that “Nanfucket” shirt.
The sky was full of grey gulls and plastic bags
circling. Pastries lined the waxy café windows
starting to get stiff. You laughed so hard
at your own joke, coffee came out your nose.
Something was leaking on the back porch of us.
The room darkened and I turned a mechanical
candle on. I thought I heard the air twinkling
but it was someone in the alley, sweeping up
shards of a broken Heineken bottle. You told me
a forty-five minute long story about the carpet
in your grandparent’s house, how it was vodka-
soaked. The story ended with you in your apartment
watching the Sopranos and crying. I couldn’t help
feeling a bit jealous of your obsession with that town:
the smoked-ham sandwiches, boys on boardwalk
in cut-off jean shorts, Martin’s Casuals’ flashy suits
flapping in the wind. I wanted some of that
tenderness. But there were other things:
your leopard print bedspread, the avenue
ripening, your twisted bottom teeth,
the next person who will handcuff
themselves to this chair for you.

Ari Wolff’s poems have appeared in Vinyl, The Offing, [PANK], Whiskey Island, Hinchas de Poesia, and more. She lives in the Hudson Valley where she works as an educator and community organizer. You can find her online at