By Lisabet Sarai
(January 3, 1980) We are both climbing the walls. After seven days like animals caged in this dingy little basement room where at noon you still leave the lights on (yellow bulbs bare on the ceiling). We are both being extremely polite. We don't fight. But you stake a claim to whatever chair's in the furthest corner from where I am. And I find excuses to stay in the shower a little longer to give you time to reclaim the space I've been calling mine these seven days. There is caring between us, sharing of words and smoke and magic, a liquid communion of flesh that leaves us awkward and breathless. That just makes it worse; we are never sure where a casual touch will lead. We need and fear the crazy conflagration our bodies kindle. You sleep. Alone at last. And I here at your table ponder this candle-lit empty stage-set where you and I have played so much drama this week that's passed. At last I can find our separate threads that tangle themselves so completely in bed or in playing Scrabble. I see our pattern, loosely woven. Two days and I'll leave. Your apartment will be again your own. Eventually you'll clean up the roaches, finish my food, find the sock I'll undoubtedly leave and probably miss me. And meanwhile my car with me at the wheel will be winding the roads, remembering your sleepy smell and the holes in your shirt. Our time is for learning, apart or together. Our armored truce in this cellar room has taught me some tricks to take on the road till we meet again.