The many selves we carry
By Sarina Bosco
The man in the dining room is a distraction.
He is good at setting the table and dicing onions. He’s good at picking the best tomatoes out of the garden, by smell I think, since I watch him from the window lifting them to his upper lip. He also pulls some green ones, which I will bread and fry.
I forget about everything that has happened when I’m washing the dishes and the water rushes toward the drain. There is so much copper in it that the grate has turned a beautiful blue and the edges rust. I wash the same plate for almost two minutes. He comes up behind me and wraps his arms around me, but they sit uncomfortably under my breasts and not at my waist where they should be. He has to work at his posture to fit here. It is not like the water circling the drain or my hand repetitious over the ceramic or the skin of the tomatoes exactly ripe enough. He will not come here again.
I know that I am for another.
I curse Venus when I see it but it is Mercury that makes me dream. Mercury the guide, Mercury of divination and poetry and trickery. He stills my tongue all this month.
I refuse to look at the sky and so when I wake at two a.m. I can feel him in the room with me. The planet becomes a god becomes a human whom I have loved, whose shoulders and voice and forehead I have loved. I wonder how every other soul in the world has done this and if it is worth writing an epic poem about.
However there were no sea journeys, there were no monsters but ourselves. Women turning men into beasts and men leaving women on islands. Taking something with them when they leave. The women giving themselves to the gods and dooming the love of others.
Sarina Bosco is a chronic New Englander and reluctant homeowner. When not writing, she can most likely be found washing dishes or gardening.