Friday, February 1, 2019

Song of the Ex-Wife

Like a geriatric cat he disappeared
beneath the porch, into the briars,
into the ether. Or maybe the belly of a coyote.
Who fucking knows with that husband of mine,
that sad pelican of a man. That puffed-up toad
squirting blood from his eyes.
He had a picture of my chest
tattooed across his chest.
When our song came on the radio
he’d slam on the brakes and refuse to drive
until it was over, even if we were in the middle
of a busy freeway.
When he taught our babies to swim
he made them wear parachutes
instead of water wings.
That husband of mine? Oh, where should I begin!
He brought me flowers every night
and wouldn’t let me leave the table until
I’d swallowed every petal.
He bought me candy in heart-shaped boxes
and we’d go down to the bridge over the river
and chuck the truffles at passing barges.
In bed he’d knot his long, long arms
around my neck so tight I couldn’t breathe.
He appeared once on a TV game show
with a team made up of his other wives,
then blew it all on the lightning round.
That husband of mine would get drunk and 
buy billboard space and plaster copies of
his restraining orders across them.
Oh I could go on. Every night
he’d sing for hours to the babies
until they begged him to stop.
Finally he packed them all up into the Lamborghini
and drove to the Indian casino on the edge of town,
where he lost them all in a high-stakes game
of rock, paper, scissors. All the dealers knew
that my husband, that snake in the corn,
that rat in the china shop, that fat little
panting corgi of a man, would always only ever
pick nothing but scissors.

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