I will list the things that we need and then you will venture off in search of them.
I will sit at an antique desk in a room that functions as a kitchen-office-living-room-bunker. I will write on a scroll of thin perforated paper that will seem endless but that will eventually, like everything, end.
I will take care to write extremely lightly so as not to rip through it. When I finish one section, I will tear it at the dotted line and fold the whole list into a tidy little pile of squares.
Outside, you will forage through the remnants of the city with that list in your pocket. Everything will look the same only emptier, more silent, more still. I will know this only because you will tell me.
Each time you return, your arms will be tired from the weight of found objects. You will drop these on the desk between us. I will see that they are not the items I listed, exactly, but they are close enough to fulfill the same needs:
Two oranges that are not yet moldy, for instance. One latex glove, a half bar of soap.
You will tell me the stories of how you came to find them. And these will be the true stories because I will be better at crafting our imagined future, while you will be best at recording our actual past.
I will look up while you are speaking, but my hand will keep writing. You will wonder vaguely where the scrolls of paper keep coming from. “Scrolls of paper” will never appear on the list.
Whenever you are searching, you will yearn to be with me.
Whenever you are with me, I will yearn for you to search.
And so, there will only ever be one moment without longing between us.
It is, of course, the moment while the paper is tearing—just before you will know what else is needed, just before I will have imagined what else we need.