Poetry / Abriana Jetté
:: They Say It Makes the Heart Grow ::
Where does desire come from? When my husband and I come together at night, I swear, I crave nothing. I am so content to spend hours inside trusting what he wants to watch on the television, it’s boring. Others call it happiness. This is marriage, the working at being bored. Running out of milk and washing floors and then doing that again. Once more. An occasional walk in the park, but most of the time, the yearning for something more. When he and I are together what is there to crave? It’s when we part that I begin overheating, feel as if I might stop breathing and don’t want to be saved. We all have something strange that keeps us high. I bet we couldn’t change our vices if we tried. I want my husband most after we say goodbye.
From the writer
:: Account ::
What pleased me at the end of this poem was its connection to Persephone. Even when I’m not trying, my poetry finds a way back to the Queen. Something about her unsettled nature excites me, or, it excites that voice writing my poems. In my fabrication, Persephone and Hades are ravenous, passionate, mad for one another when they are together, but when they are apart, well, when they are apart, they are happy. When I think about Persephone, I think a lot about the tensions between happiness and desire. However, I wasn’t thinking about Persephone when I wrote this sonnet. Its origins are much, much more ordinary.
One, two years ago, a late Monday morning in late August, my husband takes his time going to work, so the usual Monday routine is slowed down. I’m antsy to check my email. He wants me to stay in bed. Eventually, he gets up: brushes his teeth, gets dressed, makes a cup of coffee for the road. We kiss goodbye. He shuts the door, locking it, as is his habit.
The room is silent and large and empty, and I didn’t care what these emails are about anyway. He is gone, so I want him back.
So I write about it.
Equal parts ordinary and Persephone. That’s what accounts for this poem.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Abriana Jetté is the editor of the anthology series Stay Thirsty Poets, as well as a poet, essayist, and educator. Her work has appeared in Plume Poetry Journal, The Moth, River Teeth, Seneca Review, and many other places. Her research interests include creative writing studies and alternative pedagogies. She currently teaches at Kean University.