The National Poetry Review

Patrick Kindig


the couple sitting next to me in the coffeeshop
is in love. they are in love & they want

everyone to know it. see: their elbows
touching. see: how she is running her fingers

along the rim of his baseball cap. see: his hand
on her thigh, on her arm, at the base

of her neck. &, of course, they are always
looking at each other. they are looking at each other

& smiling, doing it so often that it seems
they will flunk the essays they came here

to write. because why does history or literature
or the spread-pattern of contagious diseases matter

when you are in love, so in love! i sympathize
with them, really, i do. i remember the first time

i touched my boyfriend’s hand in public, the first time
we went to the farmer’s market & i let him hold me

by the bicep. i remember the thrill of it, the electricity, the fear
someone would approach & shatter my jaw: all

those feelings that did not leave me, have not left, those
feelings this couple must feel right now as he fingers the hem

of her sundress & lingers. holds still for a moment
as if posing for a college brochure, for a wedding invitation,

some pamphlet that says look! how great life can be
when a man loves a woman! how great to hold her body

in public! how great to do it even when people are watching,
even here in this coffeeshop! how great! how great! how great!

how great!

PATRICK KINDIG is a dual MFA/PhD candidate at Indiana University. He is the author of the micro-chapbook Dry Spell (Porkbelly Press 2016), and his poems have recently appeared in Willow Springs, Whiskey Island, CutBank, Hobart, and other journals.

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