As soon as my elbow grazed
the wineglass left carelessly close
to the counter's edge, I was
already reaching for the broom,
knowing that was all she wrote.
Somewhere in the final years,
long after we'd given up
on trying to find the perfect gift,
you came home from a yard sale
with four glass goblets, each one
large enough to hold a good
half-bottle of Sonoma red.
I loved them on sight, while you
grew to loathe that love.
Now, only two remain, and
as I sweep up sharp-edged
shards from the linoleum floor
of my single-room apartment,
I imagine that I hear you laugh.
Sympathetically, I hope.
Enough's been spilled already;
no need for malice now.
Whatever we think we have,
we come to learn, will not endure.
Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Iain Macdonald currently lives in Arcata, California. He has earned his bread and beer in various ways, from flower picker to factory hand, merchant marine officer to high school teacher. His chapbooks, Plotting the Course and Transit Report are published by March Street Press. A third chapbook, The Wrecker's Yard, has been accepted for publication by Kattywompus Press.