Visiting the Pierce’s
I greet you with a hearty handshake
And a half-hug, your wife
With a decorous peck on the cheek.
We go inside. We’ve been friends
So long I make my own drink.
I and my martini wander the comfortable family room
While you and your wife clash
Dishes and tart words in the kitchen.
There are framed photos from early days to present.
I always start at the same place
The one of your wife on Martha’s Vineyard
With her left hand holding her blond hair out of her face
Laughing, while the cold wind
Turns her nipple to a bright raisin beneath her thin top.
I see that picture in my mind
Almost every night when I go to sleep.
I turn my attention to another picture:
Your first-born, then a toddler in a sailor cap
Now a handsome young man.
Try to turn my attention…
It doesn’t work. Never does.
Once, over wine, on an anniversary date
My wife, who was in a very hostile mood,
Said I married the wrong girl,
Should have married yours.
In a stroke of genius, I said nothing,
But I’ve wondered ever since
What women know, and how they know it.
I drain my martini in a brain-twisting gulp.
And seriously consider another.