Happily Married

Madison Mullen

She crawls into bed with the same man every night / but it’s not him

 

“Yes, yes! I need you.”

She cries

 

Once his bride—maybe she was something borrowed / something blue

Ten years prior (and, yes, they’d been in love)

However now someone different in view

 

There had been so many trampoline-flung thoughts of how to fix / this . . .

 

Every morning the same:

She stands in the bedroom / before he wakes / her red silk

He pays no mind

 

She watches

He slides on his loafers / cinches his tie and says:

“Tomorrow will be different”

But she can’t hear him; he’s in his head again

 

“Tomorrow’s going to be different”

 

Work summons / an excuse, really:

Clock-in / clock-out

Step from Grand Central / a taxi to / a taxi back

He wants a car to park in a driveway but can’t afford it

He cares

She doesn’t

 

He’s home—

His eyes meet the rough coir welcome mat / the sound of the rustling woven strings from old coconuts imported from islands

 

The place is empty.

This must be a game, a rouse

He moves into the bedroom, onto the bed

The sheets, warm, he collapses; he dreams

 

He opens his eyes

As fiery skin claps against him / animalistic, harmonic

Together

 

“I can’t! I won’t!”

He pulls a pistol from the end-table

 

Awakens

 

He rolls across the wrestled sheets / opens the wooden drawer

It needs beeswax, smoothed against its guide rails

 

Silence

 

He counts the rounds / push-thumbing out each

He returns them—snaps them inside and smacks his palm against it / releases

 

“Please, please! Oh yes”

“I want you. I want you”

“I want nothing more than this, you are what I want”

“Stay with me forever”

 

He giggles / as if he was eavesdropping

This was it

 

Four short minutes

Their breath is hot / it’s heavy as a forest rain

She rises from the man’s body / steals the silken sheets / finally sees her skin pink

 

“What the hell are you doing?”

“Something I should have done before”

 

He brings the gun up / pulls back the hammer

(Their eyes are wide open)

He pulls the trigger / many times over

Static fills his ears

 

As she feels his heart beat close to death.

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