What You (the Tall, Blond-Haired, Blue-Eyed, Smart, Talented Woman Who Keeps Hitting on My Husband) Don’t Know

Though we’re in a crowded room,
you say his name as if you were drawing a bath
for just the two of you,
as if you were lying
beneath him,
throat open, body reaching.  You press

your hand into his, mistake me
for a ghost, a phantom, the woman
he’s woken up with for the last
eight years.

What you don’t know
is that he and I had the nerve
to get married outdoors,
in the evening,
in late October,

in Nebraska.  That the morning
of our wedding, the sun rose
and unwrapped a blue sky.
That afterward, I got pregnant
too soon, told him in a grocery store parking lot,
bit my lip while he stared
at the steering wheel.

That when our first daughter came,
I clung to him and cried
for weeks,
our basement apartment overflowing
with emptiness.
You don’t know how many nights
the baby screamed. How the moon looked on,
uninterested while we took turns

yelling at each other, wondering
aloud what the hell were we thinking,
wishing our hearts would just break
and not keep going. Like mules,
we took whatever we were given
and kept moving without asking for water.

You don’t know how each sorrow
deepened the well, rekindled the thirst,
opened the doors for the second daughter
to make her entrance.  On that morning,
he wept, gazed at me as if I were royalty,
took one look at the baby, said, Honey
are you sure you didn’t have sex with Winston Churchill?

What you don’t know
is that, if I so much as slip my hand
into his back pocket, if he so much as reaches
for my waist, we burst
into the Aurora Borealis.
You’re stunning, but there are
thousands of people who drive
out of their way to find
our kind of beauty.  So when you look deep

into his eyes, smile and talk out of the corner
of your mouth,

I won’t put my arm around him
and drag him away.  I won’t kiss his cheek
lovingly.  What you don’t know
is that, when I walk away,
it’s just my way
of staying.