“I was in the kitchen
and he was sitting at the counter.
He looked at me and smiled.
He said and I’m not kidding,
‘If I were to ask God
to create the ideal woman,
intelligence and talent,
He could not do better than you.”
“It melted my heart”, she said.
“I just went to him and kissed him.”
“I don’t know what to say, I said.”
‘Don’t say anything.’ he replied.
You don’t have to say anything,’
Her ex Max shook his head,
He’s a smooth operator, that guy.”
Max leaned in and
Just below her ear
on the nape of her neck.
There was something about
the way she smelled.
It wasn’t perfume or essential oils.
It was her.
Like distant lilacs
like before a fall rain.
It was almost ancient,
Archetypal, was it pheromones?
It transcended lifetimes.
It was encoded in his neurons,
Did everyone notice that about her?
“What are you doing?” Ophelia asked.
“I need a shower, I know.”
“No” said Max, “I love the way you smell.”
“Idiot.” she said pushing him playfully away.
When the leaves turned,
her heart turned.
Especially when she was playing
in the maple trees.
sitting on a branch about two thirds up,
Maybe 50 feet.
bring it to a boil.
Bloody knees, she had some wine
and slipped off the porch.
Magnesium, and calcium,
makes the heart grow fonder
Potassium, her heart skipped a beat.
And there he was,
A gentleman in the woods.
When the marriage ended
Max was away writing a book about the endocrine system.
By the time he got back,
Ophelia and her mother had already packed
a massive steel shipping container full of all their stuff.
He was left with virtually nothing.
She gave him 3 forks, 3 chipped bowls,
and a set of green plates that she didn’t like.
After that, she would drop by periodically
to take something else.
Like picking treats off a carcass.
One time she showed up unannounced
and took most of the rose bush.
“I took a course in roses” she said,
“I can propagate these.”
Then she came by again
and took two huge pieces of the cactus.
“I found a great recipe.”
A third time, she went into his closet
and took all of his silk underwear
(a gift from her mother on his birthday).
“My mother needs these back.
She’s making Romulus and Remus
little outfits. You don’t mind do you?
It’s not like you ever wear them.”
Picked this rose in remembrance of you.
And the sage flowers with a splash of blue.
For the sad I feel thinking of you.
I know it’s over, but I can’t stop wanting to be true.
I just can’t undo the years of holding and having your back.
And I can’t bear the thought of some him with you.
What’s clear is my lack of emotional maturity.
I’m a teenager again,
reverted back to a pot smoking adolescent.
Hanging on your every word and action.
Embarrassing but true.
For all her chic thinness
and occasional ice princess mean,
she has an almost
gluten and dairy free
banana pancake air of health.
And just like breakfast,
she makes the rest of your day.
Joy or pure pain,
depending on whether you have
the memory of her or
the thrill of being near.
She could be more beautiful
if she only applied herself.
You know, did her hair a bit more
or put on some lipstick or rouge.
That being said she’s still probably the
single most exceptionally
beautiful woman in the world.
Ophelia was frantically packing all the things
that she could justify as being hers.
Which was basically everything.
After 15 years of marriage,
Max was left with the toaster
and 4 plates.
In her haste she threw away
on unopened bottle of dipping oil.
What you might have on fresh bread.
Max took it out of the trash,
why let it go to waste?
She saw he had saved it
and threw it back in the garbage.
Rather it wind up in landfill
than with him.
“You know how old the office is.
She came for a treatment and had a visitation.”
“It was a woman though.”
“Everyone who works there knows Fred.
He’s a spirit that everyone has seen.”
“No one has ever seen a woman before.”
“Apparently, she had some kind of cough.
Hacked and hacked like a smoker.”
“Fred would never smoke. He’s a dancer.
We’ve seen him Tango, I kid you not.”
Eve was out late and in a hurry to get to work.
She didn’t think about what she was doing.
Just put the fork in her bag and forgot it.
It was her step mother, Ophelia’s, favorite fork.
The only thing she would eat with.
She went hungry without it
and the whole house stopped.
Blue light falling.
Ophelia hadn’t slept for months and the days all folded together like soft dough.
She spent her evenings bathed in blue flowers, playing digital roulette.
She’d gambled on him and lost everything.
Max smiled at her from across the table.
She then saw she’d also won someone who would never leave her.