Everything Before

Everything before had been the set up:
his kiss when you walked in the house,
the bags he slipped from your hands
and left neatly aligned by the door,
just as they were before the trip.
The wine glasses were waiting
in an unexpectedly tidy kitchen.
Twenty minutes into the conversation,
when your name arrived
in the middle of his sentence,
road-weary and curt,
you picked up on the tension too late –
ad-libbing the next line
in a badly written bit of dialog
and no hope of later editing
the parts that might have
kept the plot from derailing entirely.
Or maybe not, since
everything before had been the set up

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