I can’t forget the time we danced a tango, enchanted

by our silhouette. I thought you were a handsome man.

A few martinis was all it took, the night became a dizzy blur,

spermatozoa swam right in cementing us in a weld that

cracked and fissured, a bond that could not hold.

I’m looking out the counselor’s window, a scrubby,

weed-choked garden, a hillside lawn of dandelions,

kudzu, and lupines. Crimson cherry blossoms

beyond their bloom, twist and twirl floating down

in a misted rain, a tiny yellow finch is overeating

sunflower seeds on a dilapidated redwood feeder.

My husband pounds his chest proclaiming he’s an honest man.

I’d like to kick him in the groin, but he’d bang my head

against the wall. He hangs around his favorite club getting

his fill of tits and asses to quench an insatiable appetite.

Last night I dreamt he was a Napoli satyr chasing me down

cobblestone streets, marble statues cat-called and leered

as I fell on my face scorched by a flow of steaming lava.

Succumbing to his bullying ways, accounting for

pennies spent, I’m forced to serve my tyrant’s iron rule,

selling myself for a roof overhead and food on the table.

I keep a crystal wine glass beneath our bed,

biding my time for revenge. I plan to crush it,

inserting shards of glass into my privates.

Instead, we’re here to find out what to do.

When asked what keeps us together as tormented mates,

he barks: “I need a mother for my kids!” I reply: “Just leave me alone!”

Warriors wounded in a futile war decide to go their own way.

The counselor agrees: “You need a lawyer, not a marriage counselor.”

We depart, grieving for what was never meant to be.


Milton P. Ehrlich