Poetry

How to Have a Midlife Crisis When You Are 24 Years Old – Samantha Forsyth

pace back and forth in the kitchen, 

and when he comes home 

tell him that you are unhappy.

he will look hurt but not surprised. 

start to walk away as he says

something like “Things can get better” 

or “I can change”. and for this you will hate him.

say that you will take a walk 

and before he can catch up to you, add ‘alone’

when you get back, find him 

at the kitchen table 

with a glass of wine. sit across from him 

and tell him that you are pregnant. 

before a year, there are medical complications

there wont ever be anything conclusive only a rash of tests

the thought occurs to you 

that you are waiting for something to die.

have a child together and then bury it. 

tell him again that you’re unhappy,

and hate him more for silently 

putting a hand on your cold shoulder

there wont ever be anything conclusive only a rash of tests

start to find excuses not to be with him. 

sit alone at cafes and hope he is having an affair

but when a man offers to buy you coffee, 

let him. have the affair for your husband

wake up early to think about what would 

make you happy and brew

a warm cup of coffee, but not for him.          

don’t say anything when your husband starts 

to play piano or learns your favorite song. 

don’t look at him when he glances at you for approval.

let his fingers trip over the keys 

and let the notes be heavy and dry,

hope they are painful for him to play 

even though you know he will keep practicing.

there wont ever be anything conclusive only a rash of tests

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