1. Country Song
She had been reduced to a faint twang drowned in radio static on the road through Arkansas where nobody lived and nobody listened. It was her worst fear.
I wake and tell you about my dream, as if it’s an urgent news dispatch from another realm, and it is.
“I was debating with someone about polygamy…” I am lying in bed naked and you are standing and already dressed.
You say: “Let me guess: You were against it.”
I am, but I say: “No. I’m for it. It all depends on the circumstances.” I say this because I fear you want to be with someone other than me, and if I allow it while I’m still here, then I can still be here.
I can still be here, naked in your bed as you turn and go someplace else.
3. Golde and the Snakes
We bought a house. It was a nice house. I had not had a nice house before. I thought of that part in “Fiddler on the Roof” when Tevye is fantasizing about being rich and singing in the barn. He imagines his wife, Golde, “looking like a rich man’s wife with a proper double chin, screaming at the servants day and night.” Is this what I’ll become?
I thought it would stop, once we got the house. The doors and windows all have locks. But the snakes get in.
Your lover — you think I don’t know about her. You think I haven’t seen the photos and your messages to her. You think I haven’t sat outside in my parked car drinking from a bottle of hard liquor just to be able to go inside and face you.
The snakes with their alluring, flickering tongues get in. Even when we’re snug in our beds at night; maybe especially then. They get to you. They get to me.