They had been dating for years although they didn’t see each other very often. When they did see each other they used words like “narcissistic” and “unfair.” One day after work she was especially exhausted and he was especially exhausted. After not having seen each other all day when they did, it wasn’t pleasant for her and he wasn’t happy then either and finally she said, “You hurt my feelings.” And he answered, “Well, you hurt my feelings.” And the words “ironic” and “hypocrite” were bated around until she finally left, took her bike and a book, and rode one mile to a coffee shop. She paid for a fountain drink at the counter, Mountain Dew. She sipped the yellowish liquid and tried to read a short novel. A hand-holding couple ordered lattés and went out the door. A group of teenage girls pushed tables together and acted as if she wasn’t even there. She stood up to refill her plastic cup. When the waitress told her it was closing time, she left. She had nowhere else to go. Her bicycle squeaked slowly back to their summer rental. He was home but he didn’t meet her eyes when she came through the door. She assumed he was still thinking about his hurt feelings, and subsequently, her hurt feelings continued to pulsate. When he eventually asked where she’d been all night she said, “I met someone and we fucked.” She said it because she knew he would never forgive her.

Janee Baugher’s work has been adapted for dance and set to music at University of Cincinnati–Conservatory of Music, Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, and Dance Now! Ensemble in Florida. Baugher is an editor and teacher living in Seattle and the author of the collection of poems, Coördinates of Yes (Ahadada Books, 2010).