I texted you a period — a dot.
Quite succinct and to the point, I thought:
an ending rendered clear as ice,
a mercy killing, not so nice,
but still, recriminations looked
extraneous here, no comma’s hook
suggesting possibility. Finality
is what I meant. Banality

is what you sent: You texted back
a question mark. You shameless hack!
You knew what I intended, yet
pretended innocence. “I don’t get
what you have in mind,” you said.
I scowled as, easily, I read
the subtext: ‘Does this signify
full stop? And can you tell me why?”

A colon I sent next, as in “you ass.”
I know: it was indelicate and crass,
yet it conveyed that I eschew
the way you treat me as you do.
Responding: exclamation point! you
clearly hinted I should anoint you
King Of The Wronged, as I knew you would,
convinced that all you do is good.

I sent an ellipsis, implying “I’m waiting .  .  . ”
How long is it since we started dating?
You know what to do, I thought, then you did it:
your love was still there, though of late, you have hid it.
You sent two parentheses, as we are nestled
side by side, once my mortar’s been pestled;
we lie, my back against your chest,
your breath against my neck as we rest

for the night . . . an image I love, I confess.
Despite myself, I begin to feel less
annoyed. And just as I’m starting to soften,
you come in for the kill, as you do so often:
you text an ampersand to me.
I’m yours now, as you knew I’d be;
the ampersand, as in, “yes, and . . .”,
“Yes, and,” you sexy, smart brigand,

implying all that’s yet to come,
that in Love’s equation, we are the sum.
But lest I let you simply whisk
me off my feet, an asterisk
I send you back, implying there’s
a footnote: cleverness repairs
my heart for now, but cross the line
and I will text a minus sign.

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