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Sunday, December 26, 2010

My First Marriage

My best friend, Faith, wrote this when I was still at the University of Northern Iowa finishing up my Bachelors degree and she was at Mankato State working on her Masters degree.  It was written circa 1989-1990. 

Love You Like A Boy
by F.E.Wagoner

I married you a long time ago,
some time after you hated me
for being smart and barging
into the trivia game,
sometime after you shot me in the back
with chocolate ice cream,
some day later than the night
you slapped me across the face
and I ran back to the room,
hid in a toilet stall
crying and hurting
knowing that your fingers
autographed my cheek
and I would have to explain to my roommates
and hate you for a day
or two.

I married you after we decided
that we were different from the others.
We liked to drink and slam dance (mildly)
and rebel against the Barbie dolls
in our hall
who liked Top 40,
spent 20 minutes in the shower
while we waited, cold and sleepy,
spent hours primping and curling
and teasing
before they went out -
we wore just jeans and sweatshirts
and kept our IDs and money
in a back pocket.

I married you
because I knew that what
I couldn't accomplish
you would,
what I couldn't fight
or stand up to,
you would and frequently did.
I was a sappy drunk then,
you hated it, hate me crying
in front of people when we were out -
I am bawling because he is dancing
with a Barbie doll
and you drag me to the bathroom
but we have to wait 'cuz
there are Dolls primping inside.
Furious with me -
I am still crying and ready to puke -
you push me hard,
launch me through the door
and knock a Barbie in the face
with my fist because I am trying
to save myself from pain.
Those girls are pissed
and ready to beat me
'til you step in and save me,
towering above them,
fist ready and mad as hell anyway
they know they've messed
with the wrong couple.

I married you long before
6:00 mornings walking back
from a men's dorm,
reliving the night
relishing our freedoms
and triumphs and hangovers,
groaning at a few bruises.

I go to sleep alone now
and you're not there
a few feet away mumbling in your sleep
or knocking your head on the light
as you climb the ladder to the loft,
I even miss you picking at your food
and bitching about my cigarette smoke
and how you should be sainted
for living with such a mess.
If someone tries to beat me now,
I may actually have the guts
to swing first
because I know you won't be
stepping in at the last moment,
and the Dolls don't matter
too much,

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