Samantha’s Note to Her Husband

by Steven Pirani

By February, I had decided,

That you'd tear out my throat every morning
if it meant your favorite song would play from my neck.

In retrospect, you were always hungry for helpless people.

After our first fight, I had this nightmare of a hyena in your work clothes,
walking through the bedroom door on its hind legs,

eating all of your clothes, our photos, our bed.

How did I let you swallow my pride
every night of the summer?

Before we met, even my eyes grinned.
I was painted concrete, gears and steam, a real engine.

I didn't think you could drill a hole,
that anyone, even you, could pull spears from love.

I had never burnt an egg until the morning after I met you.
Right then, I should have known.

But you were all hands, distracting me.
Alive, new, exciting.

Pure sugar with no plan,
too sweet for foresight.

All the smoke alarms went off,
and the fire department came.

Did they know? I wonder.
Did they know about who you'd be?

Had I misunderstood?
Maybe they had meant to pull me out of the house,

3 yellow men, in a cherry picker 100 feet high,
and you, looking up, from the porch.

They left as quickly as they came,
and you threw the pan in the trash.

How could I have known?
I ask myself that all the time, even now.

How could I have known
of all the light you'd steal?

Of how many teeth you'd hide in your gums?
Of all the quiet fires you'd light?

My chaotic little match.