The New Wife

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.



About Margaret Elysia Garcia

Margaret Elysia Garcia is the author of short story ebook collection Sad Girls and Other Stories, and the audiobook Mary of the Chance Encounters, and the co-founder and lead playwright of Las Pachucas, theatrical troupe. She teaches creative writing and theatre in a California state prison.
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