Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Phone Marrow

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My ex-husband still wants me.
I can hear it in his hello, the way his voice rises
like a hook.
He lingers too long on the line.
Pausing to think of the next thing
gives him away. He dwells on the kids,
the trampoline he bought them,
the doomed bunny he's letting them keep,
as if to say, See what I'm doing? How good I am now? as if to say, Look at all you're missing.

I am still disgusted by the thick heave of his breathing,
the way he drags oxygen through a thick layer of fat.
I think of our clumsy, too-quickly-over, lovemaking
that I can count on my fingers --
all sixteen years of it.

We chat, always better friends than lovers,
when my voice falls, hinting at good-bye.
He stalls me with our co-parent schedule, ball practice,
birthday parties, whose-turn-this-weekend kind of stuff.

Look at the time, I say, I've got a meeting.
And our conversation closes behind us like our history,
gone, but still swimming
in the eyes of our children,
like so many puddles of hope,
so many puddles of hope.


Cyn Kitchen is the mother of four children, ages 12, 14, 16, and 18. She holds an MFA in writing from Spalding University. Her work has appeared in Carve Magazine, Salon, and the literary magazine for the Santa Fe Writers Project. Her growing collection of essays, The Cynical Kitchen, is available at CynKitchen.


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