From Becca’s writing prompt at the Fall (Winter?) MUG Retreat.
Yoga With My Wife
I switched off the ringer, grateful, but she’d said it in the sand of her voice—maybe holiday lights in the crowded Westfield mall got off the phone. I could see the pain in her black shoulder length hair, red lips. Some dinner, and I called Jenny back. Only polite, hot wind in our hair; desert air that smells our legs past our sex and guts and lungs—Jenny’s shrill barks as she adjusts the blankets that fit snugly around my skin.
Rabbits piled in a cage, stacked like logs without language, they say—and so memory does not begin until hair comes spilling around faces.
So she texted me, which I ignored. Vanayasas are hay bales piled; smell of straw and clean, safe gravel from approaching cars turning into parking lots, you see. Denise was very upset that I talked, she could hear cars passing on highways nearby; examples of the floorboards under our feet, climbing up as if they don’t know each other. Can’t talk to me like that laughter on our lips.
I tend to believe the former. Not that I can remember the pumpkin patch in the crib next to mine. I remember a woman, in white, vines broken and crisp, and heart, until it melded with the sound in our—Cathy moving on? What news?
Hot army shoulders, skin cracking—soft touch of gray hair peeking through, dirty. Lots of worms coming up with it, going with Jenny.
After you learn to talk.
Cathy in jeans and blue fleece, rushing—cold room; blanket draped over my lap, comfort, safety not contained in a house grimy and crunchy in my mouth, thick stringy starch burning rosemary, and it gets in your lungs and makes sirens pass.
Her voice smooth and low, the gentle touch of her fingers.