Married like a couple of dolls
playing games invented just now
all about feelings
in the heart in the gut
no attention paid to how
the other one was doing
all about me me.
She was mad at herself
in a sad labyrinthian way
going to bed as wired up
as the tick of the clock
fired up as the candle wicks
that would burn through the night
leaving her soul white.
Tapping his fingers on
anything harder than a bone
nothing could be as bad
as the talk in his head
telling him to go to bed
without saying he was hurt
by a word she said.
After a while came the middle years
a squirrely time of silence and fears
kept together by common business
and common curbed antagonism
racing like quail, clucking like chickens
they executed each day’s rhythms
bride and groom both petrified by
questions of who they were and why.
Came the day inevitably
the marital glacier melted away
all the acting and avoiding
took over like tooth decay.
Came a morning he could not get up
out of the queensized bed that they
had made and made day after day
a place of such neat disarray.
Came an evening she left the table
full of food and got in the car
she found the nearest on-ramp and ramped it up
across the state line and into a bar.
No they didn’t get divorced
yes they did spend some time apart
maybe they will stay the course
but only if only when
only after they open up
and scream some
and be a couple some.
Here comes the part of the song where
I sum it all up and say, ‘beware’
before you are married don’t hide your heart
and afterwards do not drift apart
of course you’ve heard this all your life
but it’s just advice until you find
yourself with a metaphorical gun
to your head because you are alone.