Chicken Noodle Soup

She knew
right away. He saw
it in the look on her
face. He never knew
how she knew. He rolled
away and said, Sorry.

I can’t
I can’t do this, she said. I can’t
—it will be six weeks before
graduation and I can’t. He told her
whatever she wanted to do,
he would be with her.
They saved their money.

There was no conversation
in the waiting room. He was
the only man. He went out
to the hall and lay
down on the thin carpet, out
of the way. He tried
to get some sleep.
It had been a long night.

She held a piece
of paper in her
hand, said, We need
to get this filled. Outside
the building, she held
a hand out to the wall
and steadied herself and bent
over and threw up. The sky
was overcast, the day warm.

He opened a can
of chicken noodle soup, diluted
it in the pan, heated
and stirred and ladled it into
a bowl. She sat at their
kitchen table and slowly
ate the soup. She said,
Thank you. He said, You’re
welcome. They never spoke
about it again.

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