Palm Springs

We drink Fernet by ironic sculptures
under misters that make our bangs damp.

It’s our anniversary, 
though that time feels faint.

We are searching for a place
to escape his diagnosis,

laws against gay marriage,
our leaky, flat roof.

Every Memorial Day 
and Labor Day, we go to the desert.

Sometimes also the Fourth 
of July.

Palm Springs rewinds things.
We almost buy that mid-century chair

proud of our rule that love for it 
needs to be immediate.

At the Parker, a guy with a calf tattoo 
brings drinks. 

You can ask for anything here.
We toast to another year without cancer.

After dinner, we wander the hotel hedge maze,
nowhere to go that late but home.

Copyright © 2023 by Christian Gullette. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 17, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.