I held your hand very tight. You squeezed back (silly.) Now we are here, months later. We are an exhibition of pretentious expertise, as if to give love was an art and our inspiration we had to prove.

Our decisiveness we had to show. Perhaps that is when it all collapsed: the tower of fiction books about our futures and pasts too. Do I even love you? I train to crave what you are. I am versed in the sharing of affection. I guess I always knew who needed it the most.

There was me, and there was you – and on June 21st, there was a toast, and a priest, and a white dress too. Now we are here, months later. I shape my face into a flower opening up to receive the blessing of rain when you ask about the weather.

I shape my body into an oasis when our dried love needs refreshment. We stain the sheets like blackened tears did my white dress. Funny how pleasure and pain can both make the same mess. No one asked.

They assumed I was happy. So did I.

Now we are here, months later. The monotony of the routine weighs like a bad hangover. I stroke the
plains of your chest with the pride of a seasoned artisan. As if the glory of expertise could appease the gnawing of underpayment. We are starved and bored, HELLO! “Hello?”

“I need a divorce, do you perchance serve those?”

“Call back tomorrow ma’am, our offices are about to close.”

It’s too late now. We are rooted into our fiction; slicing at the paper with our quills as bitterness replaces passion. You are an expert lover. We are experts in each other.

The strokes that make you cum are itched into my palm. Practiced motions await your summons from the hollow of my bones. I fuck up a lot and generally, you fix it. I suppose we’re in deep now; this could be the bottom of the pit. But it’s the morning after, and the light is emerging. Good Morning!

“Good morning”

“I want a divorce.”

“You don’t know what you want ma’am.” She was right, of course.

That day you asked if something was wrong. Naturally, I immediately wept. A bundle of self-pity, I sobbed and did snot a little. You squeezed the breath out if me as if punishing for the secret I kept. I wish you had been so fickle. I wish you had not stopped. I wish you had crushed the expertise from my bones.

If you could just burn the routines from my hands….then nothing would be left of God’s command: “thou shall love your husband”.

By Veronique Mbaiye

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