THE WAY SHE CARRIES US
I still keep one photo of us on my bedside table.
In it, we’re posing in front of the Fairbanks House
where we stayed on our honeymoon.
His arm is around my waist and I’m leaning into him.
We look happy.
Our daughter carries us around in the mornings
while I get ready for work.
She’s always finding new homes for us:
the linen closet, the mouth of my rain boot.
Once she even left us on the lid of the toilet.
I’d like to say I left us out only for her amusement,
but that would be a lie. Our latest home
is the bathroom counter where I stood this morning,
brushing my teeth, as she pushed us into the hole
left by his electric razor. She pointed at us, and said,
“Tell Daddy what you want, Mommy.”
I pointed at my foaming mouth, thankful for the excuse,
but she didn’t buy it. Jabbing her finger into his chest,
she said, “Look. Daddy’s right here.
Tell him what you want.” By this time, I was spitting,
thinking, It doesn’t matter what I want, what you want.
He’ll never be able to give it.
Instead, I rinsed out my mouth and said, “I want Daddy
to get better, and I want him to love you.
I want him to spend time with you.”
Then it was her turn. “What do you want?” I said.
“Tell him what you want.” She looked away, dragged us
off the counter, and sulked around the room,
swinging us from side to side at least seven times
before landing us back on the counter.
Then she looked at him through eyes just like his
and said, “Daddy, I want to go there.”