a folie a deux,
a mutual delusion (they'd explain),
shared by two;
graduate school passion
always has great adjectives,
double meanings and words without meaning.
over coffee, at the curiously outre
shop with the electronic music
and the unreliable cappuchino machine,
she'd script out for her friends
evenings and dawns she described as
"in the moment", even though the
silent, passionate "moment"
seemed to require a lot of explanation,
much as one would imagine that
a user's manual in valentine writing
would require many pages, and
lots of technical sketches.
he often spent long spaces of time
defending his novel
from his MFA's adviser's critique
that real people did not use
phrases like "their nights were
filled with petit morte",
as his nights, he said,
with a mildly unforgiveable grin,
did indeed involve many "little deaths";
he was convinced when he made his adviser
blush, her blush merely reflected
the purity of his purpose.
but when the degrees were awarded,
and all the French poetry had been read,
and they had job offers in different cities,
and it was time to put down deposits on leases,
they looked at one another,
and said "we had a folie a deux"
and their small love died a little death,
with barely a sigh.
now she sits outside her office building,
dragging on a cigarette, dying a little
at a time,
and his novel,
always a small thing,
is withering out its
last moments on the vine.