Garlic peel falls on the book you loaned me. I think of it as your book though you neither wrote it nor are you likely to get it back.
My hands are wet. The more fragile papery peelings stick to me until I’m gloved in garlic skin and then everything falls to you. It’s open to the page with the rape. I peel enough garlic so I can’t see the words anymore.
My hands are wet because of the children. The germs and the shit and the dirt. A mother is always washing her hands or maybe just a paranoid one. A mother is always keeping her books in the kitchen. I tell you all of this because you’re wondering why. If you’re thinking of me at all, it will be wondering you’re doing.
I wonder, do you even know about my children? These beings that render me not completely yours? These beings that render me completely not mine?
Do you even know?
I know I’ll never see you again. I know I’ll never return this book. I know I’ll probably never even finish reading it. And garlic never makes me cry.
“This is amazing,” you said. “It makes me think of you.”
“It’s all really approachable,” you said. “Even for you.”
I run my finger across the flat, shiny edge of the knife, sliding the sticky cut bits down to the point, thinking dangerously. Thinking dangerously I press the point to the tip of my tongue. Garlic is sharp and spicy and even the tiniest piece fills my mouth with garlicness and it’s just barely tolerable. I close my eyes and imagine being the kind of woman who would press harder, who would draw blood. I’ll never be that courageous and I’ll never care about anything that much and I’ll never be that stupid.
You never really did make me cry.