Couch by Saranya Wallooppillai

The couch smells.

And the pillows are

kind of lumpy.

And my nose itches because

we haven’t bothered to evict

the colony of dust bunnies underneath.

And my back hurts

when we flop down after a long day,

and fall asleep without dinner.

Sometimes I’ll wake up, with

pieces of rice stuck to my face

from last week’s takeout night.

But if I put my hand

under the left cushion, I’ll find

the remote, sticky with the

residue of old labels, and the

peanut sauce you spilled on it

while trying poke me with your


And when I lean back

my head will find the dimple in

the cushion, and settle in

like a marble on a board

of Chinese checkers.

And when you curl up next to me

it feels nice, even though you only want my

Kung Pao chicken

We’re like two matching pieces of

a jigsaw puzzle, shoved together

in the wrong space.

And even though, sometimes,

it kind of sucks,

it’s really not so bad.


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