Monday, May 5, 2014


He is miserable, he says.  Desperate. 
He is a giant of a man (in size,
as well as in his mind, it seems).
He fidgets before
and after
his confession
but when
he speaks
he seems relieved,
confiding to a room
of timid listeners that the problem
is: we fight all the time. 
But…I’m in banking,
he says – wryly chuckles.

I’m Catholic. 
I have kids, I live in Laconia. 
I drive a suburban. 
He eyes his audience,
      as if to ask,
“Can I?” 
Get divorced is what’s implied. 

we keep his gaze,
but no one nods
or shakes their head. 
We don’t give advice – we listen, hushed.
He continues, telling how he came to be here –
it was his mother.
She, he says, reminds him often
that he’ll be okay, but, we, of course,
already know this.  He’s self-reliant, he assures us. 
He doesn’t know what he’s so afraid of.  
he wishes…she would just die
in a car accident.
Our guise of pure composure cracks a bit;

nervous laughter breaks
the silence.
The pression
of his secret, lifted, he sinks back
into his chair and fold his arms across his bulky
swell of chest.  I am both shocked and intrigued
by his honesty. 
His extremity
of thought. 
He can’t
his words- released,
they saturate, scandalize the air.

He removes his ring,
playing with it in his huge right hand
as if toying
with the fresh idea of freedom,
right in front of everyone.
He seems nice enough,
which is how he described his wife,
but secretly, I take sides, sympathizing
with the woman he wishes dead. 

During prayer, I squeeze his hand, praying
extra fervently
that we might be led out
of temptation.  I notice he’s returned
his ring to finger.  Keep coming back,
we say and I wonder if he will. 

Later, I say, to my husband,
if you ever hope I die,
just leave me.

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