Originally published April 2, 2009
Husband No. 1 sits in a Maximum Security prison
a few miles outside of Washington D.C.
He sent a love letter.
I sent divorce papers.
He sent a sketch of his middle finger.
I sent a blank Post-It note.
He sent apology flowers.
I sent a pawn shop receipt for the diamond ring.
He called collect.
I changed the phone number.
Love never fails,
but self-righteous and indignant mistakes do.
Vows, they sound good from behind a veil,
yet eventually crumble like moldy brick at the foundation.
For better is where most “drop that beat” begin,
but for worse, is the boogeyman beatboxing in the closet.
And like our hearts, we don’t want to open it
fearing to face the celestial skeletons robotting from wire hangers.
So, when they locked handcuffs around his wrist
I touched mine together and thanked whatever God would hear.
His incarceration is my freedom train
moonwalking away from the steel cage of his heart.
The bass is drowned out by the whistle
while the gushing breeze blows the funk out of my hair.
My hips will heal from the pops, locks, and drops
and my neck will relax after years of mindless nodding.
Meditative silence will untie the lies he planted
on my lips and waved to my ear canal.
But Husband No. 1 doesn’t believe in relinquishing the mic
so he sent me a verse.
I returned it with a turntable needle, the bridge, and a match.
The Post-It note said, light it up.