Category Archives: love

Off Script

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Single out and follow the clicks of my high heel boots,

a glimpse of androgynous chic among the crowd.

Catch me by the elbow, but I’m going to need

you to stand at the end of arm’s length, where the palm rests

on your shoulder to balance the surprise.

 

I don’t mind your company; just your interpretation.

Sure, walk with me, but hurry while I’m late.

 

“Get under my umbrella–don’t you feel the warning?”

~

Wrapping a silk scarf around my neck adds spice to a blank outfit;

that’s you when we chat and you smile under the shower until,

Well, this is my stop.  Parting words,

but imagine we match like the missing shoe I found this morning.

 

A tweed blazer attracts no one, even with a mini skirt–except

people watchers and you, because even you said

you’re kind of hard-headed. It explains the umpteenth time

you’ll conjure some sultry episode even if I say I’m not wired

for hook-ups or, honestly, any heavy rhythm against another.

 

I’m thinking, because I care, that you should

say good-bye. Just be gentle.

 

You’re still gonna call back and open doors for me tomorrow.

You don’t budge.

 

So, what to do with you when you decide to go off script?

 

 

 

The Sitcom Wife

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I was nice to my husband that day,

trying to be what seemed so easy for women

on black and white and Pinterest.

 

I listened to my medication, then organized my head.

Cleaned the car. Folded laundry. Scrubbed

the bathtub with bleach until my fingers grew angry

red from purification. Went to Rouses and actually

bought the stuff he liked (and needed). Then placed

the keys on a hook instead of the fridge (again).

 

…Then the sharp edge of an open cabinet

door dug deep into my scalp as I turned

around and realized I was clumsy and he had a point.

The top of my head turned blood cold

as I  proved my tolerance.

But embarrassment lasts longer than pain.

 

I wouldn’t have had to tell you (or him) this incident,

but a headache stretched into its third day.

I tried to be casual: Just “I bumped

my head in the kitchen on Sunday. ”

 

He wasn’t: “Today is Tuesday…and the first time

I’m hearing about this.”

 

Even after urgent care, I was still casual:

“It’s just a contusion.”

 

It was  now his turn to be nice.

He spooned red beans and rice into a bowl

at home and listened to my pain killer

induced rambling as he held my head in his lap.

 

I think I apologized before falling asleep,

explaining that I can be a traditional wife,

or at least a normal one–just bad at it.

But the drama was dying down, so he could say ,

“Nah. You keep it interesting around here.”

Anniversary (Work in Progress)

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I’ve been listening to our neighbors pack up to leave as I stir to keep the rice from burning.

What did they find out

in the time between our wedding

and one year later? Did we interrupt

their silence on the other side of the wall,

listened to usual moving day chatter

about the thrift store table,

soap dishes,

and items we hoarded for a month?

The clink of utensils on china as we spooned our first Sunday meal

seeped through the walls with the savory aroma as we sat down to

meat loaf (your favorite)

mashed potatoes,

and corn I knew you wouldn’t touch.

 

Did they ever pass us by on the street or the mall,

catch a glimpse of our courtship, then reminisce?

Like us, they are married too, so they probably nod

patiently as we balance grocery bags on the edge

of bursting, knowing the debates before us

(does ketchup go in the pantry? The fridge?).

It’s the little things that creep into the honeymoon

phase as we notice the fine creases in our upbringing

like the way he calls for a washcloth before a shower,

and I simply call it a “small towel”.

Or how he wakes up early while I savor the sleep in

on a day off.

Yes, the little differences, but

Did they understand how the night and day

of  you and me

completed the bricks

windows

before our first key,

threshold?

 

I’m hearing a voice rise for someone in another room. I’m opening the oven to check on the progress of our evening plans.

How soon before they realized we were night owls,

hearing entwined laughter,

the glow of a TV screen at 1 am,

before submissions to sleepy kisses

and a fluid embrace?

We found how to appreciate quiet

after our entry level grind,

let tourists have Bourbon Street

as we sank together on the couch,

then soak in another molasses Sunday.

 

They are hauling furniture to the moving van. I’m setting

the table as the meatloaf cools.

Soon, it will be just me and you again,

left to discover more of the post-altar underground,

daytime adult business,

and drowsy eyes, legs entwined  at the orange-pink

view once dusk sets in.

Creating a unit

 

 

 

Well

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I think about how easy it would be to stop trying,

throw the orange vial in a junk drawer and forget

about keeping a job,

getting a master’s

waking up to clean the house

comb my hair,

make eye contact

and speak “well” with a stranger.

 

It was easy until I met you. It’s getting harder

to disappoint when you’re watching.