pleasant as the shadow of a parlor trick
we pass the snack bowls to and fro like a
self-playing billiards game.
and though we both pretend the other doesn’t
act like someone else when company is over
we can think of little else amid the chatter.
how we become more and less ourselves
the longer we abide beside each other aging
dawdling, fiercely striving when the other
is not watching
when we are not watching ourselves
striving to be essential to the story of we
not dispensable like a character but permeating
like a theme
so we thread ourselves differently into the plot
each time we tell it to ourselves again.