by Kate Petre 

My parents are in love, especially when they’ve both had something to drink.  They are proud and aging—my father unable to read the menu at restaurants, my mother talking discreetly of nose hair, refusing to be called “ma’am.”

They don’t forgive each other’s flaws but understand that none of us shall be forgiven, and growing old is less jarring when the years are counted on someone else as well.  They are happy and don’t ache late at night because of some misunderstood lonesomeness that flakes and grinds at the tips of the fingers, if only because it doesn’t matter anymore.  

They are comfortable, habit depending on this same muddy lump of beast.  Sometimes it rolls over and they make love.  They are resignation: that they are no longer two but one, that they need nothing more than to die, and to finally being alone.


___________ right