Winter Rain on a Sunday in a Small Midwest City

I rested on a lofted bed
in the single-occupancy dorm room
of my first lover.
I did not love her; it was just that she
had made it easy for me.

Others before her tried, but this one reminded me
of the first girl I really loved—light-colored hair and eyes
that smiled warmth, smart but not boring,
raised Protestant but agnostic, ahead of me in our teenage years, and
woman enough to show some affection but
feminist enough to make me earn it.
The two even had the same name,
though one was Jenny; the other, Jen.

I looked down at Jen from the comfort of her loft
to see her smiling at me in her papasan
chair. I wondered for a moment,
what I was doing there.

It was a cold and quiet Sunday evening;
Jen had made macaroni and cheese.

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