The lover feared becoming unpredictable. He set their bedrooms aflame with candles, sought out exotic fruit to share with her, wrote poems, sonnets, letters, and screenplays to her.
He went to the store with the tinted windows and bought things in tubes flavored like pina coladas, raspberry, and “wild grape.”
When winter came, he made two snowmen on her lawn, they were hand in hand.
In the spring he gathered armfuls of flowers and tree blossoms, both their bedrooms shone with fresh color.
In the summer he packed elaborate picnics and they ate at the park, the beach, in the field with the crickets and small jumping insects, in the woods under the embrace of the tall trees.
One summer’s night he gathered many fireflies, half a dozen jars. He hung them from the magnolia tree in her garden, the one where they liked to sit and talk on warmer nights. When she saw them, she became distraught. She covered her face in her hands, cried, and drove off in her car.
He sat there long hours, watching the fireflies zip back and forth in their jars. Like electrons. Like straight-jacketed patients off padded walls.