How to Have a Happy Marriage

By Carrie Fountain

after children.
after a nervous breakdown.
after fifty/sixty/seventy.
after your double mastectomy.

while cheating on your spouse.
while impotent.
while going through the change.
while divorced.

instead of misery.
instead of living on the tips of others.
instead of an unhappy marriage.

when the children have grown and left, just as you always
suspected they wouldn’t.
when the streaks on your windshield catch the sunset and
blind you.
when your daughter stares out the window in the backseat, an
other being, afloat on the raft of
her growing body in an ocean of thoughts you will never know,
and fears, surely, and frightening
sadnesses you can and will never be able to do anything about.

when you think you might be dying.
when your spouse doesn’t believe you’re dying.
when you know you’re dying.

despite—
forever—

for the children.
in space.
in America.
in a microhouse.

double blinded.
halfway.
on the way.

even after.
and even after that.
and after that.

Carrie Fountain