Incident in an
A Suite of Voices
Featured Poem: "The Widow"
How many times did I beg Enrique,
think about your children, your three little ones,
if you don’t intend to consider me.
But he loved to ride along with his friend!
On his back beneath some sweating belly
of a car, all day I know he dreamed of it:
the uniform, the badge, just like Carlos.
So every other Monday night, he’d take
shotgun in his buddy’s cruiser, and leave me
sleepless in the dark. “Luisa,” he told me
just days before, “I’m going to sell the shop.”
And I knew he was serious, by how
happy he looked. But I never knew where
that feeling came from: the adrenaline
of the radio crackling, blue light pulsing?
On weekends, the hours spent inside the hood
of Carlos’s car, the two of them pausing
with beers: could it have been companionship,
something he didn’t even find with me?
And now Carlos denies that Enrique
was even a passenger with him that night!
To which I ask: how does Carlos explain
his ending up in the wet grass? How it was
we couldn’t even have an open casket?
Was my husband simply following Carlos
like some ghost, as perhaps he follows him now?
They pulled down the sheet and I made my I.D.,
the way that, early mornings, I would ease
the covers down when he returned to me,
not long before the children awakened.