We share a burger,
what he could afford,
in silence watch a troop of fire ants
ravage a crinkle fry
in the Baptist parking lot
where lovers go—above
the hospitals and decommissioned furnaces,
the best free view in town.
An hour before,
he’d shuffled atop me, hands splayed
as if climbing a mountain.
I watch him
lick fine salt dust from his thumb.
It will be years before I learn
this easy fact:
a lot of things are not contained
in rock and roll.
Like what to do
when that levy runs dry,
when to let a man
save face, and how
to let my anger simmer, stoic
as a blue gas flame,
so it stays lit
for years, feeding on air.

Laura Davenport is the author of the chapbook Little Hates (Dancing Girl Press, forthcoming). Her poems have appeared in Best New Poets 2009, Crab Orchard Review, Meridian, and New South, and her non-fiction essay “On Literary Relationships” was featured in the Passages North Writers on Writing blog.