Ah, whither love’s ardor whose heat used to scorch her? Now his mere face can assail her like torture
And being alone with him renders her frantic
It makes her a hectoring shrew, a pedantic
Wet blanket, although it is also true, in her defense
That Nate can be maddeningly oafish and dense.
Who chips a mug without knowing it, or
Doesn’t see that they’ve just spilt some milk on the floor?
And once pointed out, he goes all Lotus
Position-y, saying mildly, “Wow. I didn’t notice.”
She didn’t want some belching, farting, or toga- Clad frat boy, but frankly, the wheat germ, the yoga Seemed ersatz,
some also-ran version of “mellow,”
This go-with-the-flow, unassailable fellow,
She just didn’t buy Nathan’s pressure-wrought grace,
And wanted sometimes just to slap that sweet face.
Now Day Three in Wellfleet, they’ve lost all their power
Which means no hot water, no lights, and cold showers.
And all Nathan does is repeat “This is cozy.”
She thinks that perhaps she’ll just get up and mosey
To where he is sitting to give him a smack.
Maybe the blow would do something to crack
This passive-aggressive façade for his shirking
Just going downstairs to get things back to working.
Or maybe, she thinks, I’ll just fuck your best friend. Now, something like that might just bring to an end
This constant pretending that everything’s fine. Maybe then you might evidence some sort of spine.
A thunderstorm could be heard off in the distance. Susan had offered Josh any assistance.
"Sure," Josh replied, "you can come hold the ladder." Nathan kept reading, which just made her madder, And then madder still when he hadn’t detected
Her tone, which was heavily sarcasm-inflected:
"Need anything up here, Nate, before we’re done?" "No, that’s okay," Nate replied, "you guys have fun." "We will." Her smile had a slight rodentine tightness. Nathan went back to his Unbearable Lightness
Of Being, that summer’s one de rigueur book, And, lost in the story, did not even look
Up from the page for an hour or more
When the others came through the basement stairs door. “You were gone for a while. Must have got a lot done.”
"Oh, we did," Susan said, squinting, as the lights all surged on.