name unspoken

You know, when he’s with me, he

doesn’t talk about you.

There was that one time

when he called me your name

from the kitchen

“what did you say?”

FROZEN, cutting onions,


“I didn’t say anything”

Then nothing.

More chopping, more sauteing, more

movement, oven door opens forcefully

and is closed just as forcefully in an

uneven jerking motion.

His forehead vein bulging,

blood quietly pumping, and more

chopping, cilantro this time.

Now that I think about it, the

only way I really ever hear

your name is when it drips casually off of

my children’s tongues, artificial syrup sweet, and, like old spat out toothpaste,

sticks to the corners of their cotton

candy pink mouths.

It just stays there, dried and caked and cracking.

No one really notices, other than that

it looks odd and out of place on such a

beautiful child from such a

beautiful family.

But he himself, the master and commander of his

own destiny, the sad girl,  no he never says your name,

in fact has never once said your name– on purpose— and he

pretends you don’t exist, when

he’s with me.


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