The New Wife
By Margaret Elysia Garcia
You and I sat at a park bench
Casually watching the kids play
While the men went for beer
You wanted to know
Stories. Clues he hadn’t given.
There really aren’t any, I smiled.
And that was true and not true.
There aren’t any remember that time that we—
Open and breathing memories
The stuff snap shots and road trips are made of—
Those don’t exist. We did not exist in open air.
We existed in borrowed beds and minor keys,
We had the same eyes and similar fates.
That same darkness visible.
There was an old wish for I do not believe in prayers.
Next year on the same planet, in the same place
Perhaps We Can Be. Him. Me.
You are either understood. Or you or not.
And we often were not. That was the story.
Your child is acting crazy on the jungle gym
My kids are calm and backing away. Apples. Trees.
You have bags of how-to in your backpack,
Sugar snacks, and I try not to judge you but I do.
Who is this girl who looks older than me
Who bleats vortex demands that make me
Unfocused, tired. I’m looking at you now, honey
Trying to see the attraction. Wanting to see
beyond this mainstream banter
cackling from your mouth,
your infomercial vocabulary
your first world concerns—
You don’t look like the wife of an artist;
You look like the wife of an accountant
And I’m betting you go to therapy for fun.
There must be something to you.
Perhaps you’re fragile.
He does love to help people.
Perhaps you’re just like his mother:
Sweet and incapable.
You want to know about our relationship
But that’s not a word we had.
The kids are going to want to eat soon.
The men will be coming back with the beer.
The choices were made long before
And you have still yet to be born.