AS GOOD AS IT GETS.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
A HUSBAND WATCHES HIS WIFE ONE MORNING

Submitted: February 14, 2013

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Submitted: February 14, 2013

A A A

A A A


That is as good as it gets:
Mrs Hushbenway gazing
at herself in the mirror.
Her husband lies in bed

staring at her back; her
backside squatted on the
small stool of the dressing
table, her back ramrod straight,

her hair in a mess. She grimaces,
shows her teeth, licks her lips.
He takes in her fading pink
nightie, the dark pink panties

showing through, the way she
sits there gazing at her face,
the way she grimaces. Enough
to sink ships, he thinks, not saying.

He imagines she’s some other,
some younger specimen, sitting
there, slim figure, maybe naked,
brushing her hair. She is talking

now, he assumes it is small talk,
some neighbour’s husband or
kid or some new baby on the way,
or some dress she’d seen, but not

in her size. He thinks of the old days,
the days of rough and tumble, times
of getting in late, falling into bed
and having it off before deep sleep.

She’s asking him a question, no
idea what, he tries to bluff, to pretend
he had not heard too well. She
turns and stares, her big eyes, cow

like, brown and liquidy as diarrhoea,
search him, brings on the pretend
fear, the good husband pose. Ah yes,
now he’s heard, knows the answer,

what she’d want him to say and he
does and she turns satisfied and brushes
her locks, having lost her looks. He
knows her well, knows her funny ways,

her little lived in world, her way of
seeing things, of saying things, the
words she prefers, leaving out words
not hers, like fuck and arse and shit

and piss, words he likes to sprout in
anger if banging toe or elbow. Now
she undresses, takes off the clothing
piece by piece, he hums the striptease

tune, but she's not amused, and gives
him her stare. Oh you, he thinks, who
could sink a thousand ships, whose
face could turn the tides of sea, shut
thy cackle, come kiss, remember me.

 

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