Third Draft of the Wife

On television, the wife
fixes what’s broken
by hand.
Darning his socks,
she pushes her hips
to the dryer,
her chores completing
all at once.
And the husband, home
after commercial,
pumps and pumps
while her closing eyes
settle somewhere
over his shoulders,
waiting for flight.
Most nights, after
watching, I press myself
to myself
in the empty marriage
bed, flattened
and shaking,
during the winter
of our first year.
Without you, I become
both groom and bride:
one hand a mender,
one hand a liar.

Rachel Mennies is the author of The Glad Hand of God Points Backwards, winner of the 2013 Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry, and the chapbook No Silence in the Fields. Her poetry has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Drunken Boat, The Journal, Crazyhorse, and elsewhere, and has been reprinted at Poetry Daily. Mennies teaches writing at Carnegie Mellon University and serves as a member of AGNI’s editorial staff.