Remnants of a Marriage by Margherita Sabato

I’ve seen you, doing things you shouldn’t have, but I’m one to talk. If I were here you’d either scorn and shun me, or you’d shout, smash some glasses. I was abrupt, vile, impatient, but then so were you. I’d yell if you could hear me. I’d say: “Screw you, whore, you’ve ruined me, thrown my best years down the drain, you’re garbage.” But then so was I. 

It’s a Sunday. Stone cold, snowy. I see there’s frost on the crusty shutters. On the day we used to attend mass, you’re going to town to meet a man of forty. I see his face float in your head, then watch it sink. You’re pretty, tired, desperate. I find that dress to be inadequate. You splash perfume on your neck, then walk away, towards the hallway. 

And while you check if you’ve got cash, and keys, I stand still. Unmade bed, dusty chair, nasty clothes on the floor and carpet. It’s been tiring, sad, depressing, to witness your grief fade slowly, to go from husband to abandoned spirit. Well, I have been purged from my sins at least, and I can read your secrets at last. 

I pick up a journal from the nightstand. It must’ve fallen into a puddle at some point, because your diary is now full of paper waves. And the ink is smudged, the way your make-up was always in the evening. You talk about our last hours together. The words look like a poem on the page, sound like a curse when pronounced: 

“You got home and found me panting. 

My skin was still sore from the bruises you’d given me. 

You went to bed and I stroked you, then knifed you, got my revenge. 

I can never regret it. 

I will never forgive you.” 

Published in Issue #18

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