Carolyn’s thoughts began to drift to her ex-boyfriend,
the type of guy who smoked a pipe at the age of 22.
He brushed dandruff flakes off the shoulders
of his black turtleneck.
He spoke coldly of the poor and disadvantaged
and bragged of his parents’ riches.
Just when her heart started to melt,
he’d do something crude,
and she’d grow frigid at his touch.
She didn’t know why she spent so much energy on him,
why she picked up his wet socks off the bathroom floor
or sorted his dirty underwear.
In the center of his eyes, she found only ice.
Easily annoyed by the viscous quality of his voice.
He used money from his father’s slush fund
to buy her a necklace with an iridescent stone,
frosty pink in color,
but she found the gesture slick and meaningless.
They really were polar opposites,
calm, clear water and a thick sludge.