The Change

by James Laughlin

James Laughlin

when it came was nothing sudden
it was so gradual they didn't

notice it was coming and when
it began they weren't aware it

was happening it wasn't some-
thing they talked about at all

it began with such little things
like the way she kissed and how

long a kiss would last and what
her tongue would no longer do

(until there were no more kisses)
then where she wanted him to touch

her and what she wanted to touch
such gradual little differences

such an undeliberate alternance
in her tactile affection it was

as if nothing was changing with
intention sometimes there would

be a little change of tone when
they were talking she lost in-

terest in some of her prettiest
dresses replacing them with ones

that were less colorful and more
severe it was all so tentative

as if she were groping then one
day they realized (both at the

same time) it was something they
could speak of could bring into

the light but there was no bit-
terness no recriminations they

knew they would always be to-
gether the best of it would

always be the same that was
assured but each would be free

to act without asking as the
change would require of them.

Last updated November 02, 2022