What I Mean to Say But Haven’t
After Jhumpa Lahiri’s Survivorman
Here’s a truth: the first time you kissed me up against my car
after dinner at that Mexican dive, I kept my eyes open and watched
an old man hold the door for his wife, stooped behind her walker.
Here’s a lie: I believed you when you said it wasn’t as if you were really married,
that you and your wife had been separated for a year.
Here are some facts: I may have bought you the green toothbrush that lies
beside the sink, but most days I see it I forget why it’s there. When your wife and I
had a parent-teacher meeting to discuss how your little boy likes to run
around the playground pulling all the girls’ pigtails, I thought about telling her
you weren’t at work, but picking up take-out to bring to my apartment.
And whenever I see the toilet seat up, I imagine that a stranger has broken in.