Must Have Own Tools

When I lie on the sofa late at night, I wonder why my wife hasn’t left me yet. We haven’t had sex in four months, I haven’t worked in six. We haven’t been in the same bed since before Christmas. It’s March.

There’s a photo of her in a bikini on the coffee table and I’ve jerked off to it once or twice. Her skin is pale despite the sun, her hair is dark and her thighs look soft. She kissed me goodnight tonight before she went upstairs. She ushered the kids up with her. I hated that moment, knowing that everyone was going to sleep, wanted to cling to them to keep them awake with me. I didn’t say anything though, just nodded, smiled with my lips and let them go.

I switched off the TV and picked up the paper, looked over the classifieds. Two I’d circled in my own, erratic blue ink and one, I noticed, had been neatly circled in red.

Good man needed.

Must be reliable, trustworthy and intelligent. Must have own tools. Good man needed.

I set the paper down next to the picture and pulled a blanket over my legs. I thought I was going to fall asleep, but I didn’t. I just lay there on the couch and listened to the clock tick.

Robin White is a twenty-five-year-old writer from the UK. His work has previously appeared in DOGZPLOT and Pidgeonholes.

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1 Response to Must Have Own Tools

  1. Susan Doble Kaluza says:

    Robin, I like the straight forward simplicity of this poem. It’s what I call a “prose” poem, no rhyme or meter, but “verse” simply stated, which also has a way of expanding rather than restricting the imagination. In other words, the reader is left with the thought: “I wonder if he will get a job, if his situation will change…if his wife will return emotionally” versus sealing up the ending with one concise thought. Also, a bit off point here, but i like that it was a photo of your wife you were drawn to and not some assinine magazine or video. I think that says something about your character. Even without meaning to. To me, it proves you are faithful, that you are a “good man.” Great poem.

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