Deterioration of Us (a Poem)

We hold the coffee-colored
umbrella upside-down
Catching little drips of sweat
from concrete clouds
Blanket stretched tight over sunlight
exerts itself to maintain position

It reminds me of the time
sand, abrading my skin,
embedded everywhere and you,
my shield from the rakish rays,
came away that afternoon with lobster-red
everything, except two pale palm marks
on your back and a matching belt
where my legs were

We walk to the café as opposing magnets
afternoons long settled into starless evenings
More than a table between us, now
Our silence cut by the sounds of cups
and chattering of happy lovers
We hold our world upside-down,
wondering why we exert ourselves to maintain
positions of civility

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