Eleventh Anniversary

By Marcia LeBeau

We communicate like animals. I bark, he recoils.
I howl, he waits, howls back. It’s been like this

for over a decade. Sometimes our offspring try
to separate us. Last night the youngest guided me

into the dining room. The three working bulbs
of the chandelier spotlit smashed peas and a jack

under the table. We never learn. No, sometimes
we learn. A moment lying in bed ripples

for a week. We burrow into each other’s eyes, faces
slippery with tears. I have made him proclaim to himself

the scariest of truths: I am perfect. He has made me
do the same. Our perfection hangs in the air.

Marcia LeBeau’s poems have been published in Rattle, Painted Bride Quarterly, Hiram Poetry Review, SLANT, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Her chapbook, The Book of Bob, was shortlisted for the 2019 Wallace Award. LeBeau, who holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, is an artist-in-residence in the schools and plays viola in her local symphony. She is the founder of The Write Space, a collaboration space for creative writer, in Orange, New Jersey.

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