he had reasoned brightly,
it will be good for us,
give us a chance to reconnect.
Why did everything he said
always sound perfectly rehearsed,
a conviction born of rote directive?
Was it the way he spoke,
the way she listened,
a tense combination of both?
she had heard herself softly mimicking,
it could be good for us,
and later, at the cabin,
she found herself wondering
if compliance was the same as lying,
or simply a natural extension
of the fiction
which their lives had agreed upon
as a matter of necessary course.