Vengeance from Issue 94
“Do you smell shit?” my husband asked, his face
probing the air like a deer. Head turning
from side to side, nostrils flaring as he buttoned up.
“What do you mean?” I asked, my face
relaxing into the mask I often wore.
Later I would have the locks changed
and the credit cards cut and all the accounts closed.
But this night I just wanted to have fun—
to send him off gift-wrapped
in the aromas of home.
He’d already showered and shaved,
was blow-dried— had applied
deodorant and cologne.
All this for the woman I wasn’t
supposed to know about.
Earlier I’d fished a diaper from the dirty bin.
I harvested some of the yellow and brown,
kneaded it beneath the collar, massaged some
under the label, carefully toothbrushed
a bit into the seams.
It blended like a dream
into the deep blue hue of the fabric.
Gathering up his jacket and keys, he leaned over
to where I was propped on pillows nursing the baby
and gave me a small kiss—
an obligatory deposit
into the bank of marriage.
But that wonderful smell
trailed behind him, my blessing
as he walked off into the night.