We have a two-car garage and you park sideways, leaving me on the
rocks. It makes me want to fist the glass, like an empty carafe that never held.
Sometimes when I turn the key I don't unbuckle or move to the door. Like a
Tuesday, or an evening. And sometimes I only turn the key enough to stop the engine
but not enough to stifle the song I am not listening to. And sometimes I leave the windows up andmy back goes liquid, even when I can't think of a single reason to stay in this car. The engine off, my seat belt fastened, you in the kitchen window. This is the top of your head facing downward into a sink of those dishes we both hate.
I will be writing letters to you. I am that kind of person, one who will
be sending away. These from the mailbox down the street or from our
mailbox. I will put a stamp on and wait for these letters to come back to
you. Going through the bills and the magazines I'll say There's a letter
and you'll question mark me and wonder about a great deal of things that
are only between us.
The letter will start Dear Mr. Salinger, even though you are not. I heard
that there was a bunker in the back of his house. I heard that what he
wrote is waiting. The letter will say I read The Catcher in the Rye again
last week and was curious about the name Phoebe and why you chose to name
your character's little sister the name of the woman I married, because
that seems a real disparity.
I won't say anything about the garage or your parking. I won't mention how
you have the car with air-conditioning and I have the car that only picks
up a.m. stations.
These days, it's getting so much harder to see what is happening.
I remember the CD that stuck in your car and how I watched you driving the
interstate and wrenching it out with a pen. I wondered how you changed
lanes at the same time and why Garth Brooks meant so much. There was a
time when it all was Madonna Madonna Madonna and now the cherry tree in
our backyard is struggling. I have been spraying extra water, hoping that
will make a difference.
When I write Dear Mr. Salinger, I'm not sure that you know what I mean.
Every letter I write turns out Dear Mr. Salinger, and we only have the two
cars. There could be space for me if it was parked straight, but it isn't,
and my fist wants for glass.
This is something called parallel, how the two of us stay so far away from
each other even in the same house or this car or beside ourselves in bed
watching television. If there is a show on it is a show called Absolutes
or A Kingdom of Lepers. If we watch it we do so without touching toes
under the covers or hands above the sheets. My pillow is flat, yours
Dear Mr. Salinger, I will write, and then address it to you and let the
mail-carrier fondle the glue. I am a lost boy raising up his hand in a
department store. I am a sunken boat holding up its treasure to the shore.
I am a swollen dam bursting out these epithets.