Issue 67, Fall 1976
Okay. We’re finished, done. My head careens, heart flops. She clenches her teeth, whirls her back to me, says “Just go. Please? Will you just leave?” I think of my brother’s grave. Looking at her back: I don’t know why the grave’s what popped to mind. Where is it again? Oh yes. On Long Isle. Been a long time. Long time no see we used to say about other things, among other things. What it must look like now. Overgrown like my own head hair. “Then I’ll go then,” she says. Though it’s her house. Her small bright once rented recently bought old stone house. Her child’s inside. Her twelve year old girl and two year old cat. Her furniture and diverse work appurtenances. Her dog, car and garden in back. All I got inside is half a dresser drawer I share with her sheeting and on the washstand my razor and tooth-and shaving brush. Though the garden’s mine in the sense that I rended it from rubble and trash. And have been watering, weeding, singly though not exclusively tending it. Turnips. That’s only one of some twenty roots and legumes I’ve planted there. White radishes another. Two rows of each plant and all ripe for picking now. In fact I’ve picked plenty. Pickled plenty also, as nobody here but me likes them cooked in any of the many ways I’ve learned to prepare them or even sliced thin into salads or cut in half and concaved with a cheese dip in them on a plate of mayonaised carrot and parsnip sticks and other hors d’oeuvres. “Boooo, turnips and radishes,” Linetta usually says. “You and your roots picturesquely heaped up to us in a thousand awful ways,” Mary’s said. Mary’s left. She did say “Then I’ll go then.” But go from her own house? Temporarily she must have meant. But she’s nowhere in sight and I want her to hug me as I hug her and apologize. I think I know what I’ll say. I’ll blame my infantile egotistical outburst and attack on her on the book I’ve been reading which blames just about all of man’s infantile egotistical outbursts and attacks, genocide or any otherwise, on his almost constant repressive fear of death. “Em?” I call into the house.