The Distance Between My Wives
I’m thinking of a moment that hasn’t happened yet:
when we roll and duck under the blanket to avoid the merciless sunlight that tears through our window; when the embers of the morning blow into our lives, like the distant fury of mushroom clouds above a desert; when, in your negotiation between the exile of your dreams and the horrors of daytime, you turn towards the wall;
when your body becomes any other body; when you subtract and disjoin, painting yourself into a landscape across the bed—blank, erupting mountains in the wall’s ocean of egg-shell white; when I graze your neck’s nape where hair meets skin and I watch the slow palsy of your breathing.
There, you could be anybody. You could be her.
It will be a moment like so many before.
It will be a story I told you about my childhood. A time when my mother stood straight, and it was philosophy that halved the moon. It will be the pins and needles I felt, walking barefoot across the midday asphalt to a house not my own. I had no need for sinful thoughts because in the afternoon of that Summer Hellfire, I condemned myself underneath a windowpane, keeping a drawn-out expression because I watched in exile, poorborn and shoeless. She was nothing but a body, an earth stripped and still in a porcelain downpour. Cicadas buzzed above me like the Sun above them. The world’s small, murderous humming. I watched the hot steam rise over her, and her nakedness shined in bursts of fleshtone.
It will be the guttural rejection I felt before everything was finished, before my future fell in the dirt before me to burn whitehot in the sun. It will be the words I said over and again, speaking to the ignorant ears of a girl who would never see me as I saw her. It will be the failed repetition of my voice, almost silent under the day’s blue and faultless void, saying I’m gonna marry that girl. I’m gonna marry her.
About the author:
Jon Savage is a recent graduate of the University of North Texas and the recipient of a nationally-distinguished Graduate Arts Scholarship from the Jack Kent Foundation. He currently lives and writes in Fort Worth, Texas.