The Audit

The time has come he never thought would come
when he sees her see in him just defects.
As if his heavy love has kept her down,
what once she thought was perfect she rejects.
She takes an audit of his qualities,
subtracts affection, multiplies distress,
and so, in sum, she takes his sum and sees
the countless reasons she should need him less.
She knows him better than he knows himself
so, if she finds his love to be oppression,
and reads all the good years as years of lies,
then he must turn his mind against himself
and see, laid out in infinite regression,
his net and gross of failure in her eyes.

From Sad Jazz: Sonnets (Sheep Meadow Press, 2005) by Tony Barnstone. Copyright © 2005 by Tony Barnstone. Used with the permission of the author.