Gerald’s Wife
Passion, Deidre would hiss. All I’m asking for. Gerald grabbed, one hand for the tit, one hand for the warmth down between her legs. That wasn’t it, turned out. That was far from it. A passionite woman, the stone said.

Park the car. Throw the tools over. Climb. Climb down. Gerald nothing but a list now, lines on his skin, pencil in the lines.

Deidre hands in the sink. Deidre sweaty hair at her neck. Deidre clap, smeared red of a mosquito. Deidre in her yellow robe, feet bottoms black as coal. Deidre Ain’t you going to let me in? Deidre mmm. Deidre mmm. Deidre ding, Deidre dong, Deidre How’s a girl supposed to breathe in heat like this? Soapy water, smell of soap. Thread of dirt, black black smell.

Three months buried. Chiff, went the shovel. Grass like a carpet. Dry soil, all burnt up. Chiff. Chiff. Chiff. If I ever die, don’t bury me. Denim-blue night. Burn me up, feed me to the pigs, throw me over tied to an anchor. Train whistle, baying dog, smell of rain. Okay? Okay?

Chiff. Deidre’s hand, cold as a cooler. Mind the pinky.

Just dreams! Deidre’s sister, feather of lipstick on her incisor. She’s dead!

Day of the funeral, throat shoveled raw. Fart, went Bitsy. Gerald turned to nudge Deidre. Oh, he said. Oh, that’s right. Oh, he kept saying. Shh, now, came all the replies. Shh.

And here she’d been, to think. Ninety-two days bored and hot. Chiff. Married thirty-three years, a prophet’s lifetime. Can’t escape that easy!

Gerald in up to his shoulders now. Chiff. Sun at his neck like a slap. Shovel to wood, a stop. Stop went the shovel. Go went the ax.

Help you? Wet voice of a boy.

Pow went the ax. Came apart in his hands. Funeral man saying, Nothing’s coming through this sucker, not no maggots and not no ghosts. Rev rev whee. Chainsaw? Gerald asked the boy.

Come out from there. Sanded voice of a man. Gerald looked up. Sky boy man. Sky like the water in a tub. Chainsaw, Gerald said. Deirdre and all this nothing to look at.