When You Love an Available Woman

At first, you fell in love with her home full of books and her head full of words. You took her love and all her longings and every thing of beauty she held in her palms. You plucked her secrets from her eyes like seeds and let them set root in your spirit.

She spent her mornings at her old Olivetti typewriter while you painted her portrait.

Each noon, you fucked her, and each night, you promised to take her to Florence in the spring.

You fell asleep with her head on your chest and woke up with your fingers in her hair. She was so damned new and pure you could barely breathe.

You told her you loved her and she said it back. You asked if she might want to get married one day. She said, “yes.” You spun your dreams around her like a silk cocoon. She let you. You proposed. She cried.


A year later, you took her to Florence. In between the Ponte Vecchio and your hotel, her sentences began to unravel in your mind. In between your hotel and the airport, you begged her to put her fucking book away and look at the sites you paid so much to show her. In between Europe and a new tomorrow, you spilled her beauty on the tarmac. You spat out her secrets like seeds and tore out their roots.

When you arrived home, you told her to clear away her Olivetti. It was the 21st century, dammit. Couldn’t she just use a keyboard like normal people?

You began to sleep in the mornings while she wrote and went out in the evenings while she prepared all those dinners you’d never eat.

She told you she loved you. You said, “Thanks.” She asked if you might still want to get married. You said, “yes” but didn’t mean it. She spun her dreams around you like a cocoon. You set them on fire. She asked you to stay home “just this once. Please.” You left anyway, and so she found another man who adored her wit and words.

You saw them in Rome the following winter. She was wrapped up in his arms like so much treasure. Suddenly she became a thing of beauty to you: a woman you could not have, and your regret tasted like venom.

That spring, you met a woman with a home full of stock options and a head full of projections. You tried to take her love and pluck her secrets from her eyes like seeds, but she, too, became someone you could have, didn’t she? Yes. They always, always do.

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