"Fifteen years after we broke up, my ex-boyfriend published a book of poetry.
I bought a copy, partly out of curiosity, partly out of loyalty to a fellow writer and former friend. I wondered not so much what had become of John (I had a vague idea about his family, his teaching job) but what had become of him as a poet. For months, the slim book sat on my shelf like an awkward houseguest. Then, one quiet night, something nudged me out of my inertia, or dread, and I settled into bed with his book.
And there I was."