The Visitor

I don’t know what to make of these
Conjugal visits of ours,
Whether they make things better
Or worse between us.
I have suffered more than you know
To make them possible
And it would break my heart
To see them end,
But do they really do any good?
Can we really sustain this relationship
On one hour a week?
(One hour? Rather less. I am lucky to get
45 minutes) Especially when
You never write, or call,
Or even answer my call,
Anymore.

I sometimes wonder why,
Why you even bother
Since when I speak you are not here,
Not listening, your mind awash
With details of your routine
The business of living
Day to day, or football,
Or movies, or dust on the floor.
Your mind is full of everything
Except us. You don’t even talk to me,
You mutter incessantly
To yourself.

And when the visit winds down
And only minutes remain
Ticking off on the clock on the concrete wall,
You insist (God knows why) on taking my body
Though you have not received my heart
Have not listened to my mind.
Still you take me in your hand,
Your mouth, your body,
Mechanically like a hooker,
Never looking me in the eye,
Glancing at the clock on the concrete wall,
Anxious to be gone, anywhere.

Why? I offer myself to you because
You are my bride, and you insist,
And this is a conjugal visit after all.
But why do you insist on it?
What do you get out of it,
When you don’t see me,
Or even look for me.
Religiously you take your pill
Every day like a novena,
And still I hear you mutter
“God I wish he would use a spiritual condom,
The pill is far from perfect,
And I’d certainly hate to bear much fruit.”

And afterwards you have no more
Use for me.
You collect your things
Without a backward glance
And rush for the door,
Eagerly returning to your cell.

I hang crucified once more
Above the altar, watching you leave,
Entombed in the solitary
Tabernacle.

Oh God in Heaven, How I love her!
Why does she not care?

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