STUPID NEWLYWEDS – J. Archer Avary

we were young and poor 
stupidly married
we slept on a mattress on the floor
of my dilapidated apartment
one night the ceiling caved in
during a thunderstorm
the back bedroom was destroyed
the landlord shrugged
he was too broke to build it back
and life went on
for the stupid newlyweds

from our mattress on the floor
we could hear mice 
in the kitchen
they came up from the basement
to forage in our cabinets
chewing holes in bags of rice
leaving faeces on countertops
after a while we learned
to coexist with the rodents
but it wasn’t easy
for the stupid newlyweds

we were awakened one night
by an intruder who came in
through the chimney
I sprung up ready to fight
she flicked on the lights
revealing a bat circling the room
we were young, poor, and stupid
but we knew what to do:
bats navigate by sonar so we
opened all the doors 
the bat found its own way to freedom

she and I weren’t so fortunate
it took us years to realise we were 
trapped 
and going in circles 
and that the door was always wide open
ready for our escape

 J. Archer Avary (he/him) lives on a tiny island in the English Channel where he writes poems and stories. His work has appeared in the Daily Drunk, Rejection Letters, and Little Old Lady Comedy. Follow him on twitter: @j_archer_avary