The Forced Departure

I consider the woman’s choice in liberating a red dress with pale-green sandals.
My penury depresses me into a staring contest with a melting ice cube.
A friend excited my husband with an invitation to pilot a boat with powerful thrusters.
My gift of chocolate in pink cellophane failed to make the blonde smile.
Consequently, I remind the party-goers that Trans World Airlines painted a new night with nebulae.

I could be happy in Alphabet City, buildings crumbling around my notepad.
I could be happy sipping iced tea while admiring the seamless face of a pool.
I could be happy gurgling back at an infant dribbling green saliva down his chin.
I could be happy downing Absolut gimlets (ice-cold, no ice) in a neighborhood bar with pool players providing the music, or a hotel whose walls are laminated with mahogany and where tuxedos prevail.
I could be happy with your hand on my waist as you try to identify the scent hollowing my throat.

An entire landscape in Antarctica disappears, evaporates until salt becomes the only debris.
There are keys to everything, even handcuffs.
You could have been happy, too.

Eileen Tabios, “The Forced Departure” from The Thorn Rosary. Copyright © 2010 by Eileen Tabios. Reprinted by permission of Marsh Hawk Press.
Source: The Thorn Rosary (Marsh Hawk Press, 2010)
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