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”
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
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.