Dear Repair Technician / To MarryRascal2017-12-29T22:48:44+00:00
Dear repair technician,
My husband is not operating properly. When he drives, he doesn’t speak, or if he does, he says, that’s a Tesla. In bed when I want my feet rubbed, his hands will drift up to my breasts. If he slices strawberries for cereal, the stems remain in the kitchen sink. Also he watches too much television. He has not malfunctioned politically for which I am grateful, and affection is still reliable. Call with an estimate. If marriage came with a warranty, I believe it has long since expired. Any minor improvement in function will be appreciated as I do not plan on replacing him. Sincerely yours,
To Marry Is to Join the Paired Histories of Ancestors You Never Met
To marry is to sorcerize yourself into the word we it is to feast when you aren’t always hungry is to enter a town of snow fences and walk down a boulevard under flowering trees to receive a sealed envelope which you never open and to carry that envelope high above flood waters and know that whatever is inside the envelope is holy sometimes marriage can be the loneliest hotel in the universe because you so seldom know what your partner is thinking but other times you don’t even want to know or else marriage is to assume you know just what the other person is about to say and instead to be completely surprised this can happen even after fifty years to marry is to be asked about the location of some object you never moved marriage is like tomorrow’s weather it is to shelter in that cozy place between the chin and the collarbone to memorize the spine of the beloved marriage is your hand going to sleep under the covers and you not being sure whose hand it is.
Penelope Schott is a past recipient of the Oregon Book Award for Poetry. Her newest books are Serpent Love: A Mother-Daughter Epic, an exploration of a crisis between mother and adult daughter, and a collection called Bailing the River. She lives in Portland and Dufur, Oregon where she teaches an annual poetry workshop.