Every time I devise a plan, I realize it’s going to fail the moment I enact it. I think I’m in love with you but I don’t think you’re in love with me. I like walking with you across the wooden footbridge. Do we hold hands? Around us we hear the noise of insects and birds I wish I knew the names of. Is the sun low in the sky? Tell me the angle of our shadows. I feel sad but it’s the sad you feel when you realize the world itself is intrinsically sad and you want to drink tea with it while holding a neighbor’s cat hostage in a small mountain home heated only by a stove. Do I sound crazy? Can you believe I used to hate the wetlands? I thought they were boring. My plan had always been to get as far away from them as possible. It was even my quote in my high school yearbook: “My plan is to get as far away from the wetlands as possible. Stay sweet, don’t ever change.” What will become of us? There’s a gazebo here. Inside, we huddle together until you pee into my cupped hand. It feels warm. I don’t really know what happens after this. Do I already feel loss? It is the end of one life, it is the beginning of another.

Jason Bredle is the author of two books and four chapbooks of poetry: A Twelve Step Guide (New Michigan Press, 2004); Standing in Line for the Beast (New Issues, 2007); Pain Fantasy (Red Morning Press, 2007); American Sex Machine (Scantily Clad Press, 2009); Class Project (Publishing Genius, 2009); and The Book of Evil (Dream Horse Press, 2010). Individual poems have appeared in the Knopf anthology Poems About Horses, 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day from Random House, TriQuarterly, and other places. He lives in Chicago, where he works in the patient reported outcomes translation field.