When I used to demand things of my first love, when I was unhappy
even in his arms, he would say, Mi fascista.
Because I would say, It has to be this way.
He was full of affection.
In enneagram, I am an “individualist” (4) with a streak
or wing of the “achiever” (3).
He disliked when I burned candles, which I did when he was out.
Our studio was cramped. He could reach into the “kitchen” for silverware
from his chair at the “dining” table (it was a card table)
and with his other arm select a book from the shelf by his desk.
An artificial red flower grew from the balcony railing
on a strip of wire coated in plastic.
A hummingbird would sometimes attempt to patronize it.
This was so pitiful it made me weepy.
My first love laughed (the one time that he saw it).
If he returned from class and candles had been burning
he would say, Gatita. Que mal.
I did not see what was wrong.
He had no understanding of what one stood to gain
by inviting the other worlds. His parents were doctors
and I loved him so much I did not want to spook him by explaining.
Kayla Krut is a Zell Fellow at the Helen Zell Writers Program at the University of Michigan, where she received an Academy of American Poets Prize. Her poems have recently appeared in a Perimeter, the Berkeley Poetry Review, and the Brooklyn Review. She is from San Diego, California.