House. Billy. 2 Kids. Lawyer. Hummer.
You spent years slinging through men whomistook hyper-intellectualism for emotionalself-awareness. The unconscious mindgames. The physical attacks. And then itcame time to settle: the husband-sized dick,the man who thought that rabbits laid eggs,and how you loved this so much that youdidn’t have the heart to hurt him. That timehe referred to “telepathy” as “tilapia”,“loins” for “lions.” He was never very goodwith animals. But kids: two. Twins, fraternal,named after his “favorite Greek gods”: Junoand Janus. My god, it was so easy, the wayyou dressed them in matching outfits. Howsmall they looked in the backseat of theHummer, their tiny legs so far from touchingthe floor. Billy, he wasn’t a bright one. Somepart of you still thinks he tricked his waythrough law school on that smile—Chicletsvarnished in Vaseline. You and the whitepicket fence. You love to plan familyvacations to Disney World, all four of you inmousy hats. You stand at the entrance toCinderella’s castle and when the sun hits justright you see yourself reflected in his teethnot as you are, but as you actually are.
Apartment. Him. 15 Kids. Garbageman. Clown Car.
Him. It could have been worse. You couldhave been unluckier. Some rabbit’s foot withrot under the nail bed scratching into yourskin, becoming part of your blood. And yourblood, your cells, how you split them againand again. Osmosis. It was like somepunchline, how you made the children find apartner and hold hands. How they loaded upone by one, skipping down the cement stepsof the apartment complex, hopping into thebackseat of the polka-dotted car. A visualgag. Some Lucy-worthy laugh of the body.Purple circles against chartreuse. The entirefamily out for a Sunday drive. A single errandto the grocery store. How it takes hours tomake enough macaroni, to put the childrento bed. This is your life now. How he wakesyou up at 3am before he gets ready for theoncoming day. He of body of banana peelsand body of eggshells and body of sweetcarob clenches. You, thinking: pencil orpaper, game or dream, prediction or destiny.It doesn’t matter. His feverish form holdsyou down, blows petals of lavender into yourunrelenting mouth
Shed. George Clooney. Dog. Cam Model. Ferrari.
You watch him from the bedroom, and bybedroom you mean the fabric you ducttapeddown, hanging in geometries, tocreate some semblance of a floor-plan insidethe shed. Your fat pug, George Jr., snoresbeside you. Outside, rain smacks into theblue tarp that covers the equally blueFerrari. The sound could not be described ascalming. You are watching him watch thecomputer where he half-exists inside. Heshouts; you, startled, spilling coffee on thefloor mattress again. He is excited by someScrooge McDuck sound effect of coinshitting coins. Goal, he says, and lifts his feetup towards the quiet eye of the webcam.Goal, he says again, turning around, slowlydropping his Joe Boxers to tease. You seehim turn around, reading the old CRT screen.There are instructions—there are alwaysinstructions and requests. The room is quiet.You hear yourself wheezing, the rattle of theDell’s fan clogged with dog hair. From low tothe ground, you see George bending at hiswaist, arching back towards the desk lamp.In some other space there are hundreds ofvoices shouting in text. Culo!, they shout.The liting is bad, get closeer J. The coins hitharder. From your space you see a blanknesson his face, dim, but see his arms flexing,imagine the whiteness of his knuckles as hestretches his cheeks further, some part ofhimself hidden away from you, watched bythe silent gaze of shovels and hose, thepopulation inside the dial-up. Like a hall offunhouse mirrors, everything depends onwhere you are standing in the room.
Mansion. Current Crush!. 0 Kids. Doctor. Bicycle.
He doesn’t love you. You used a children’sgame that would bind him to you. You, thethaumaturge, who dangles the crystalpendulum down, down, divining, searchingfor a source of water through each of theeight bathrooms. You of miracles. You leanoff your banana seat and drink from thefaucet. But he doesn’t love you. You ride theMongoose through the empty corridors ofthe mansion, hands off bars, letting yourweight steer as you brush your fingers to thecorner of frames, tip the antiquarianpaintings until they are all evenly crooked.The library is empty and the sun room isempty and how the island feels impossiblylong like some marble nucleus of the kitchen.And still, he doesn’t love you. He is alwaysgone. My god, how you watched him forweeks, for years, and you stuck ink to paper,and you got him. You roll through garage toempty garage, down the lit pathway of thehill. You don’t need to pedal anymore, butstill you tuck your feet in occasionally so thefree-flying pedals slap the underside of yoursoles with such force. This is power, youconsider. It is not unusual for you to ridedown to the hospital. It is not unusual foryou to hope to catch a glimpse of him out ona secret cigarette, smiling towards an ERnurse with a face you’ve never seen. It is notuncommon to be spying and recall that stillhe does not love you. There could beaccidents. Traffic. The tire popping and theframe skidding on slimy leaves, your entirebody going overboard a steep cliff. Oremergency. The knife going in just a tiny bit.Lean into a wall if you must. Enough damagefor him to stitch you up. No arteries. Theclenching of the tooth as sooth, and you willsay it. If there is angst, you will wear it like awafer on your tongue. The mouth in ecstasytrying to speak conscious. Yes, this could beit. Yourself on a stretcher, him, sewing youup. Look for anything that could be a sign.How the pinkie ducks down in mistake,brushes a tender gesture underneath yourneck there.