I waited for a rose or roses,
or maybe jeweled earrings
like those you’d given me
so many years before.

As we strolled the deck, me in white linen,
you in Nikes perusing a gym schedule,
eavesdropping ship waiters,
with their impromptu cake
picked up on my need
more than you.

The silence of your love song
releases me from pangs
when I see marble statues intertwined
or elderly couples
winking and holding hands,

because now I know my love-ache is normal,
that you circle in your own galaxy,
fathom only satellites
skim and blue—transparent
as the backdrop to stars.

So that when you chorus
“Nothing I ever do is enough,”

you can only be forever right.

Mary Bruce is a retired professor who is fortunate to have taught all over the world, including Africa and Russia. Now in Illinois. Her latest poems are “At the Breakfast Table,” Dash, Spring 2021, “Her Dying,” Gynoscope, Fall 2021, “A Far Country,” “In the Light of a Single Window,” Glacial Hills Review 2022.