By Chrys Tobey
Featured Art by Vincent van Gogh
Woman is not yet capable of friendship: women
are still cats and birds. Or, at best, cows.
Love, I’m sorry for the time we were walking home with groceries in our
arms—you carried the chicken and potatoes and I held the chocolate. As we
laughed about something I can’t remember, our dog barked
at someone, and I just bolted, ran off. Also, love, there were all
those mornings you’d wrap your arm around me—your hand
spread across my spotted stomach. Good morning, you’d whisper
and I’d reply, Moo. I’m sorry for that. I also hope you’ll one day
forgive me for the time you were weeping, your mom had just died,
and I charged as though you were red. Love, I regret
all the evenings I’d drive home from work and open the door to smell
roasting squash and garlic. We’d sit at our tiny kitchen table, and you’d
say I love you, but then I’d regurgitate the ratatouille. I’m sorry about that, too.
Love, I apologize for my aversion to leather and how we’d snuggle on
the sofa, my nose in your neck, but then you’d cry, Ah, my back
because unfortunately, I weighed 1,000 pounds. And Love, what remorse
I have for leaving you, for wandering away to graze in another pasture.
Chrys Tobey’s poems have been featured in Verse Daily and published in numerous journals, including the minnesota Review, Rattle, Ploughshares, and The Cincinnati Review. Her first book of poetry, A Woman is a Woman is a Woman is a Woman, was published in 2017 by Steel Toe Books. Tobey lives in Portland, OR, where she teaches and co-curates the reading series Women Writers Against Trump.