To My Soul-mate Who Doesn’t Believe in Souls

by Nikki Mehle

Remember out on the porch in the summer you sat
on that plastic chair, I lay on the cement
like story time, you told me
how the universe came to
be. You said:
a series of coincidences, that’s all
we are.
I asked but isn’t there magic
in all those

You laughed
when you saw Vanilla Sky
because of the line:
I’ll see you in another life when we are both cats
and you laughed harder
when I admitted that I love that line.
You explain sex with science.
Love with evolution.
And you use thousands of words I don’t
comprehend because
I am too busy looking at your hands.

Once, we walked home drunk from a party
I took off my heels and as I danced
around shards of glass and sharp little sidewalk stones
you asked me if one of us had to die
would I sacrifice myself?
if someone was holding a gun
to your head and said
you or him.
I thought about it.
you said: I’d rather have you live in my place
you said: ‘cause you know more
you said: ‘cause you’d do more

But in the tent when we camped
I smashed a moth with my boot when
you weren’t looking –and later
that night I watched you get up from your sleeping bag
to catch the rest of them in your cupped hands
unzipping and rezipping
the tent each time
you let one