I, Her First Husband, Now In Heaven, My Wife Perhaps Marries Her New Boss

In the office, she’ll see someone give him a plant that isn’t flourishing. He’ll smile and hold it in his hands. He’ll study it for a moment. He’ll look like an actor cast as an out-of-work carpenter.    

Ballroom, every woman will think, for lack of a better word.  

He’ll hold the pot to his ear. Tap it and listen again. Everybody loves the boss.    

Dear Father, he’ll say.

Dear Father, my wife will pray. But not for what everyone thinks.

Water and stones and wood and flowers. Buds to be unfolded on the old terms. Velvet beans. White oak ashes in a firepit. Sweet gum maples. Blossoms like muscadine grapes on the locust tree I planted in our backyard so she could see it from our kitchen.

Their fingers entwining quietly as vines and she’ll decide to tell him she never remembers her dreams. And that she can’t live with pets. And that she wishes she could take her head off to cut her own hair.  

And that’s the evening, the preacher will say, that decided everything.

When my wife calls our kids. When her next husband drives home.    

Kingdom? he says to an obedient brown dog. Come.

Our children will stand with her because they love her. And Jesus the Irresistible Traitor will be there for them all.

Move naturally, He’ll say. Right tribe. Loved ones first. Wine at 5.

He’s telling them: Fear not. Everyone who’s still here gets to live longer, and happily.

Because I know that promises plague my wife’s heart*, I know that one night she’ll redirect herself. She’ll ask her new husband to help her solve the crossword that lets her fall asleep.  

And they’ll lie in their bed, solving a puzzle.

And then they’ll fall asleep.

And that’s what will kill me. Jesus, the last nail.

That she won’t remember her dream.

The one I’ll be stuck in like a song on repeat.

The kind where I can’t figure out what town this is. These trees with the sun in the tall branches. These new streets.

Where I'm trying to get back home, but everyone I ask tells me the same thing: Dude, we just wanna talk to you.

Bird Report

May 15. First hummingbird. Who knows what kind? More insect than bird, and I’m done pretending w/them.

They can’t land. That’s not energetic, Lord, that’s doomed. Like watching a cat in a flood.