★ ★ ★ ★
My love exists to fix my life
and in a wife I found a view
of just how often I fail
to follow through on lofty plans
or daily tasks and demands.
But lest you think that I regret
abandoning my post at the bar
consider where I’d be if we
met after it was far too late
and I never knew
the importance of matching clothes,
exfoliating long dead skin
moisturizing post cleanse
and sleeping in king sized beds.
And look instead at what I got:
saintly patience after asking
why I didn’t do the washing.
Sorry, honey, I forgot.
Fill a flask with something single malt,
take my word: this is it—
I’m off now, off to get something
into my mouth that’ll shut me up
long enough to think about
what I just said and how to avoid
saying the next stupid thing
that wants so badly to drop from my mouth.
Maybe a pile of pink smoked salmon
atop a toasted slab of bread
slathered with horseradish mustard,
a hothouse tomato sliced thin
wedged between the bread and fish—
maybe that’ll fit neatly enough
between my outstretched lips to plug
the source of all our trouble.
With the whiskey and lox doing their job
keeping me quiet, fat, fed,
I’ll manage a cuddle on the sofa
a movie on TV that neither of us
really cares to see but neither
of us can find anything better
and wouldn’t want to—there’s only the sofa
the TV, the dog and quiet domesticity.
Vincent Francone is a writer from Chicago whose memoir, Like a Dog, was published in the fall of 2015. He won first place in the 2009 Illinois Emerging Writers Competition (Gwendolyn Brooks Award) and is at work on a collection of poems. Visit www.vincentfrancone.com to read his work or say hi.