A Man Goes Out to Buy His Wife Some Anesthetic Ointment

I think it would be best if we stopped
feeling things now,

so I’m going out to find us an ointment;
a salve to deaden us

to the sting of the gods, lost gloves,
and broken dinner plates,

hot griddles, constipated bowels
and a needle that went missing

in the haystack where we lay.
How do you mend a broken neck

or a shin bone snapped in half?
How do you replace a severed finger,

a loaf of bread cut down in its prime,
or a doll’s arm, torn from its socket?

There are wives who don’t understand
their husbands, and husbands who like it that way.

I’ve been told, for every seed there is a sin;
for every sin, salvation.

—Lisa Vihos, Sheboygan, WI