Things are not so simple as they seem every time they enter an emotional cold front, using coldness as a weapon to hurt back when they feel hurt. All it takes is a misunderstood glance, an alteration of tone in their voices, followed by penetrating silence to know their true feelings exist somewhere else beyond the chasm of coldness and the facade of detached reserve. He is no match for her wisdom, her strength, her toughness, her resiliency. In this arena she wins easily. He knows the noose, carefully places the loop around his neck.
A man discovers his wife is cheating on him, has another lover, her best girlfriend actually. He finds an e-mail in which she has expressed devotion, trust and undying love for her, emphasizing in bold font she is going to leave him. For the past six months they’ve been taking weekend trips, returning late Sunday evenings. One weekend they went to San Francisco, claiming it was a spur of the moment shopping spree, after seeing ads in the San Francisco Chronicle. A couple weeks ago, they leisurely drove up the coast to Bodega Bay, taking the Bodega Bay self-guided audio tour. On another weekend, they drove down the coast to Cambria, staying in a bed and breakfast, climbed about on the rocky cliffs and hiked the local beaches. Never did he suspect their trysts were lover’s trysts. When he confronts her, she tells him, Your accusation is absurd. How could you even insinuate something so asinine? You live in a fantasy world. He informs her he’s read the e-mail she forgot to delete. In a voice as quite as a whisper, he tells her he’s forgiven her. She walks out of the room in disgust. For a moment, as if time and space have separated, he sees the god of desire, affection, and erotic love, the winged boy, Eros, stringing the bow.
One hot summer afternoon
when the sun altered our personas slightly
I asked her for a definition of chemistry
while we were walking back to her house.
It wasn’t a general definition of chemistry
I was seeking, but a concrete one
of what chemistry might have been between us.
In my quiet moments I craved for her touch,
longed to lavish her with slow kisses,
and ached to give her full tender caresses.
I wanted her like a junkie desperate for a fix.
She was constantly in my thoughts,
in my dreams, in the soul of my heart.
But when she said, Chemistry! What chemistry?
and kept on walking, I said nothing.
I pretended the fool was someone else,
the guy sitting in the back row
of a college sociology night class
thinking about his best friend’s wife,
the high school nobody
slow dancing with the Homecoming Queen
at the Senior Prom,
the kid from the wrong side of the tracks
with an angle for the rich girl
on the affluent side of town.
Bio: Victor Henry's work has appeared in various small press magazines and e-zines. He is reference librarian, a Vietnam veteran, and a member of Veterans for Peace. He will have forthcoming work appearing in Misfit Magazine.