Tag Archives: divorce

Something Small

On any given day
on any given road
men and women
travel together in silence
or in conversation
and in one scenario
there is silence and joy
in another there is
conversation and joy
and many times
there is silence and hurt
that festers
into a conversation
that solves the problem
and other times
silence swells shut
the mouth that is weary
of never being heard
and by then
the heart is making plans
to travel alone
for the rest of this
godforsaken way.






Storage Shed

The cardboard boxes
have collapsed under the weight
of this past year—
they have suffered the daily cycle
of dew and dawn and temperatures
that had no trouble penetrating
the sheet metal walls
of this storage shed.
I am here to empty the contents
of this small rectangular room
that you filled so neatly with your hate.
The first time I unlocked
the flimsy door and rolled it up,
my books (not even boxed)
tumbled to my feet like the lives
you believe I destroyed.
It took hours to chisel a path
into my belongings,
so haphazardly strewn,
that I could feel the pleasure you took
in purging me from your life—
from the house we shared
for a dozen years.
Who could blame you
for not letting me back in
after I told you what crimes
I couldn’t help but commit?
And as I carried away
the things I found I could live without
I began to imagine you
filling the boxes with resentment
and taping them shut
with sticky bitterness.
I imagined the involuntary smile
that would appear on your face
if you knew my favorite mug was broken.
My stained glass window, cracked.
The lemongrass basket, crushed.
I thought about texting you this news
because I knew it would give you
a small deserved delight—
but you’d misunderstand
and think I was trying to tell you
it was somehow your fault.






“Alvaro and Christina” by Andrew Wyeth, 1968


Double Feature

Friday, almost midnight—
a movie theater mass exodus
into the dim-lit parking lot.
Voices hurry toward sleep
while my keys jingle and unlock
my sleeping god of destinations.
But another movie plays out
in my rear-view mirror—
an un-young couple embrace their wish.
The long strap of her green purse
is a snake on top of her white Nissan—
his body pressed between hers
and his dark blue Honda Accord.
He holds her as if this night
is all they have, have ever had—
as if he’d give anything
to be with her, elsewhere, anywhere
except in the hereafter of two hours
spent in the only dark they could afford—
I imagine them holding hands
in the back row, leaning into a dream
that will never come true—
forgetting about the lives they’ve
stepped out on to be here—
why else would she be crying
if this wasn’t the last scene
in their clandestine romance?
Why else would he still be sitting
in his car long after she drove away?



To get to your smile
I wrecked two homes
mine first
then yours
uprooting years
of complacency
years of good enough
and I knew
you might disappoint me
might be nothing
like a fairy tale
and you are nothing
like a fairy tale
but I am as far away
from disappointed
as Jack
when he discovered
the beanstalk
outside his window
you planted a seed
just for me
inside your garden
and for lunch
I sautéed zucchini
with butter and salt
and tasted
this fruit of your love.






Going Going Gone

It’s a mystery
why I stayed
so long
for being half
of myself
instead of whole
and it’s my fault
for thinking
that being alone
would reduce me
to loneliness
when there is
no place
more lonely
than being
at the table
from someone
who makes me
feel like I’m
not even there.






Out Loud

Now that it’s over
and I begin to speak of us
out loud in past tense
I am able to listen
to myself
explain to others
how a perfectly
complacent marriage
became a severing
of the cleanest kind
without war or bitterness
or even regret
because neither of us
will take responsibility
for our contribution—
which is that detail
each of us will leave out
when we hear ourselves
tell our side of the story.






Almost Everything

I’ve found out
how little I can live with
in the aftermath
of a shared life
that was full
of accumulations
piled high enough
to interfere
with my peace of mind
and going from room to room
I choose only those things
I can’t live without
and to my surprise
what I can live without
is almost everything.