We paid the mortgage a week late but the bank said it wasn't a problem, that
things happen but to not get used to the slack - We needed the extra time
to clear out the beginning of a fire ant infestation that wasn't a swarm yet
but that might be later, and what with the holiday barbecue and the pre-school payments
it slipped off our radar until we got a phone call, a polite one, reminding us that
our house wasn't ours yet and that the money we weren't spending on rent
had other coffers to be in. I cut a check.

Our jobs don't beat us down anymore, not since they realized how
much they lean on us and the pressure to prove ourselves
has subsided to a background hum, less a state of being and
more of a suspension, that the we that we are at work and
the we that we are at home are becoming less disparate,
our affects blending into identities. We're ourselves more often than ever now.

We go out some nights, leave the kid with his grandmother,
and stay in others, allowing the movie-light to flicker us to sleep.
We don't have the time for television, but from what we've seen
it doesn't really have the time for us, either, pandering to
teenagers, trying to get them to work their way through
their parents' expendable income. We're not offended or insulted,
but we certainly can't be bothered.

When Christmas comes, when our families pull us in different directions,
we'll hunker down and hope for weather, the kind of weather that reminds you
that we won't have to mow the lawn until the snow melts at the very earliest
and that the inside limit was days away,
hidden behind viciously rattling windows, fighting with all their might
to keep us introspective. We'd curl up in the living room,
watch the game, dip bread into soup and under blankets, all homemade and warm,
and toast the end of credit card debt and college loans and car payments
and start reinvesting in each other.

We've learned languidity, stopped writing poetry, started thinking in prose.