Couples

By Kenneth Hart

Featured Art: Underworld Scene with a Man and Woman Enthroned and Death Standing Guard by Robert Caney

Couples who fight in front of you.
Couples who call each other every hour.
Couples who show up early.
Couples who are business partners.

Couples who say “Absolutely.”
Couples who met in rehab.
Couples who sleep with other couples.
Couples who make out in front of you.

Couples who have been divorced more than twice.
Couples who should get divorced.
Couples who say they are not a couple.
Cocaine couples.

Couples who stop having sex.
Couples who tell you they stopped having sex.
Couples who think you don’t already know.
Couples who say “Absolutely.”

Couples you’re related to.
Couples who leave the television on.
Couples who wear matching t-shirts.
Football couples.

Couples who have “an arrangement.”
Couples who finish each other’s sentences.
Couples who have no one else to argue with.
Couples who never argue.

Couples who cancel each other’s vote.
Couples who speak the language of couples.
Couples with nicknames for each other.
Dog show couples.

Couples who stop calling now that they’re a couple.
Couples who start calling.
Couples who die within a month of each other.
Oh look, honey, at ourselves.


Kenneth Hart teaches writing at New York University, and serves as Poetry Editor for The Florida Review. His poems have recently been published in Gulf Coast, Green Mountains Review, and elsewhere. Hart’s book, Uh Oh Time, was selected by Mark Jarman as winner of the 2007 Anhinga Prize for Poetry.

Piece originally published in NOR 13.

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