What the Woman Said


What the Woman Said
Marie Howe

I don’t want to offend anybody but I never did like
fucking all that much. Like I always say

the saw enjoys the wood more than the wood enjoys
the saw—know what I mean?
I used to think

I could be like the girl in the movies—
then I watched myself—when it was happening—

my eyes closed, my head tilted back as if I were
him seeing me—and I couldn’t feel anything.

I was watching me, and I was someone else who
looked like she was having a good time. Seems like

I spent years like that, watching him (whoever he was)
watching me—I have to admit

it was easier when he left. I’d watch myself watch him
leave and hear the strain of music swell up like a story.

watch myself walk back into the house and close the door
and lean against it.

I want to tell you everything I know about being alive but I
missed a lot of living that way—

My life was a story, dry as pages. Seems like he should have known
enough to lick them even lightly with his thumb

But he didn’t. And I have to admit I didn’t much like the idea
of telling him how.

Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

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