I’d already played it out in my mind several times.
I knew (one always does) that our arrangement
was reaching its natural end.
I knew (still know) my reasons;
I didn’t (still don’t) know yours.
But it’s better to be the frog that leaps out,
suspecting instantly that the water is too hot,
than to be the frog that dies by degrees,
never noticing how slowly the water has turned to boiling.

I wanted to be the one to jump.
The last hurrah (first), and then the truth (second).

She smirked at me when I told her about it.
“You know that’s why you’re really upset, right?
You were going to do the same thing in the end.
You just didn’t get to do it your way.”

She’s right, of course —
(first) she always is —
but (second)
I never got to find out
whether I was right
about the temperature of the water.


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