Married Sex

 

Midnight in the bathroom

and she’s making love with

her husband. She saddles

the chair, heels on the rungs

for leverage, the towel rack behind his neck

threatens to snap under the weight of her

grip. She resists, he resists.

They can ride each other’s eyes

if they want — they’re married, so she can vanish

into him, she can trespass, she can dally.

White noise from the baby monitor

surfs below their wave — it could all go to shit

in a breath. And he’ll tug on boxers,

rush to the child who sleeps through the night

less often than they finish fucking. He lurches up,

hefts her hips onto the vanity, uses

their four-year-old’s potty stool for height—

they’ve got tools in every room. Now

she’s caved in the fruit of his hair, blond

waterfall of freshly shampooed hair,

her back puttied against the mirror. They can recite

favoured phrases, they can say whatever they want,

they’re married, so she can breathe into his ear and watch

the pleasure of her words take effect. She feels her

words bloom in his body.

The child who sleeps

in their bed, in the middle, and wakes once,

twice, usually between foreplay and dawn, whines

through the monitor. They pause. Between them

for four years, and not budging any time soon.

Absence of motion pulls the room into focus:

steam-slicked walls, ribbons of dust in the vent,

Renoir print askew, water damage down one edge —

those women row on that lake forever, the oiled

wheat of the sun, the arching blue of that pool.

She slides her chest across his;

water and sweat. And he watches

the LED dial, the red lights rising and falling

with the sleeplessness of their child. She wants to

lean over, yank the plug, whack it into the tub —