When we married, white, silk dress trailing the aisle, vows instructed by a


I had a friend tell me that he was surprised that catholics made women

promise to have so many babies and then steep them and stew them

In their faith.

I took classes and spent weekends and evenings in that church basement

so that I could take communion, so that I could participate in my own wedding.

The priest placed the wafer on my tongue and I swear he looked at

my young pink mouth with longing.

It could be my imagination.

We placed flowers by Mary, I prayed for children,

I prayed my marriage served the greater good.

I prayed it was for something.

There was no moment in marrying you that I wanted out.

There was no moment when my young eyes met your young eyes, clear, connected, hopeful,

not one second did I think this is not what I should be doing for myself.

We danced all night at the honky, tonk bar, we had that little money from your father,

we sweated, we drank, we made sloppy love in that Best Western ‘honeymoon’

suite bathtub and then we joined our families in the downstairs pool.

We ate pizza, I didn’t know I was starving, we dipped our feet in the warm water,

watched the nieces and nephews screaming and squealing,

unstuffed from their suits and dresses,

it was a hot July night and I was happy.

Surrounded by smiles and hopes and comforted by the band on my finger.

There was something here.

It was here, it was brewing.

That recent night where we got in a fight, I don’t even know what it was about,

you know the one when I flung the pizza dough in the sink and said, you do it,

and I went for a drive?

The whole time I was driving I kept thinking,

I don’t want to be married anymore,

I don’t want to be married anymore,

I don’t want to be married anymore,

like a mantra, like a real peek into the desire,

like a prayer.

Holy Mary full of grace, I made a mistake,

is it a mistake?

Why does all of it feel fuzzy and messy and scattered?

I put him outside of these lines and he’s a decent fellow,

a kind heart, actually a true Blue, golden souled kinda person.

He’s that kind of person that turns lights off for me every night,

he’s the kind of person who lets himself get lied to,

not needing to feel important, or make another feel smaller,

he’s got those kind of bones that turns to you in earnest and his eyes are open and he says

things like I learned this the other day and I was reading this,

he writes his children that being a man, being a person is about letting others have more than you do

and it’s no skin off your nose because it’s all good.

He’s good.

Like really good, like that kind of good that isn’t packaged in the way you thought it would be,

but goes down just right when the truthfulness strikes you.

But it’s loud here,

loud in the mix of children and 401k expectations and spreadsheets

and who is unloading the goddamn dishwasher and daycare schedules

and now we have to fuck one another?

It’s exhausting in all it’s expectations.

I looked him in the eye and said I don’t think that I was cut out for this marriage thing bub.

At first he got weary, at first he was concerned,

I cut him deeply,

I said it again without humor,

with as much compassion and salve as I could muster,

I said it again and again,

I don’t want to hurt you and I’m tired of thinking there is something wrong with me,

or something wrong with you,

I wonder, could it be, just wait a minute, is this whole system kinda, like,

I don’t know, a little bit set up to keep up huffing and puffing and failing?

Keep us distracted?

The next time I said in earnest, in love,

hey bud, I really don’t think I was cut out for this whole marriage thing,

he said, you know what?

The more I think about it, I don’t think I was cut out for it either.

Then we laughed.

And he pleased me by candle light and I tasted myself on his mouth

and we drank deeply

and I said let’s unmarry.

He said I don’t know what’s next for us,

I can see behind it a little more now.

I said it was never meant to be the thing, I can’t do the pressure on this marriage anymore.

One person to fulfill it all, children to be my everything,

and if I tried harder and if I spoke better and if,

and if, and if

then this, then this, then this,

it’s a great scheme and I want out of it.

He said I was taught to save you and you were taught you needed saving.

I said speak for yourself, and yes, yes,

I was taught to hide behind you and when I didn’t want to do it I had to punish you or myself.

I’m sorry.

Me too he says.

Don’t leave me I whisper,

he laughs, kisses my eyeballs,

I’m going for a run, want your water?

Yes, I say, thank you, yes,

I pray, bring me water, bring me fruit, bring me gifts to feast on,

bring me yourself and I’ll bring myself and we shall see.

I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know

and I also see so much.