I can hear it in your voice.
The way your throat catches at the last syllable.
I can see it in your eyes,
The way they look at the ceiling, your watch, anywhere but mine.
You tell me you’ll be home a little late,
He won’t be in town for another six months.
He’s your childhood friend, you hope I don’t mind missing dinner?
I smile and tell you it’s alright.
I kiss your cheek which twitches slightly and hold you briefly before I let go.
Don’t be too late alright?
Of course darling.
As I shut the door behind you, I listen for your steps.
I hear you opening the door of our car,
You get in and drive away, even as I silently beg for you to run out of gas.
I see your car turn the corner,
And I pull the curtains shut.
I grab a bottle of wine,
Nothing too fancy of course,
The good stuff is reserved for special nights,
Nights when we stay in and have dinner on the patio.
Nights when your mind is always somewhere else,
In another woman’s eyes.
I suppose you grew tired of golden sunsets,
Began craving the icy blue of the Arctic.
We make small talk and I can see the way your lips spell out her name.
The way they long for another taste of her sweet lavender essence…
Fuck it.
I’ll have the special wine, I decide.
I take a bottle, an elegant glass, switch on some old jazz,
The kind of music you hate.
I enter your study with mild disgust,
Go to your drawer and pull out your secret cigars.
Flick, sizzle, burn.
I inhale deeply as I waltz around the room.
No one to dance with so I dance alone.
A sip of wine helps dull the hollowness,
Fills the empty rooms with a kind buzzing,
That distracts me from the thought of your arms around her slender waist.
The way you bite her neck, causing her to gasp in surprise.
The way you look into my eyes,
I mean her eyes,
And tell her how she’s the only one you’ll ever love,
How she is yours, and you are hers.
I wonder if she knows,
That there is a woman dancing to a lonely tune,
Sipping on expensive happiness,
Trying to wake up from this never ending nightmare.
I wonder if she sees the imprint of a silver ring,
That sits on your finger like a heavy boulder.
I go up to my room,
Change into your favourite dress.
The one that you said made me look like an elven queen.
I stain my lips red, the colour of the blood that rushed through my veins,
When we first made love.
I wonder if she knows,
How you recited my name like a holy chant,
As our breaths mingled as one in a forest of tangled limbs.
I wonder if you treat her as well as you treated me,
Or perhaps even better.
I go down to our living room and sink into your chair,
It smells like you.
A heady mixture of cologne and crashing waves.
I breathe smoke into the air,
And drown in the special wine.
I hear the doorbell ring.
I get up, slowly, purposefully.
A woman with all the time in the world.
I get up and open the door,
And he is here.
The boy who will help me get through another night.
A boy with the ruffled hair and deep set eyes that I have come to both loathe and love.
I wonder if you know,
That it takes two to play chess,
And it appears we have reached a stalemate darling.


5 thoughts on “Stalemate

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