You are not her anymore, the girl in the bedroom
strumming chords, singing words that still mean something
to her, that still have power to reach across anything
to find that boy and make him worthy.
But I hope that sometimes, your husband wonders where you are
when he’s unable to pierce your clouded look,
and that you can’t tell him you loved someone hopeless
until you could only abandon his shadow.
I hope you tell stories with my name in them
quickly brushing it aside, as if I was a stranger that stopped
at your doorstep with encyclopedias under his arm.
I’m not proud that I promised you everything,
even at the moment of leaving. Nor do I apologize,
as I meant every word, as much as any unbeliever can.
If you were here I’d promise it all again
and leave you on your porch swing waiting.
A better man would wish you well and happy, but I only
want you reasonably well, provided for, yet occasionally
disconsolate, watching from your window for
that stranger to appear in the long dirt road, on his way
to bust your whole life open, ready to leave the kids
hungry at the table wondering where their mother went,
with no explanation ever coming close.