This was after my husband told me that he was a cherub, when my fingertips read the shape of angel wings inked on his back.
These were still the days of the clove and the spearmint, when the television kept telling us to prepare for war.
“Not angel,” he’d said. “They’re cherub wings.”
And they were, their size now appearing too slight, the intricate layering of feathers now
We sat together eating M&M’s one by one. We had them spread on the table like pills. My husband’s fist hit the table, the candied shells dancing in the light. I’d read Adler, knew that the manifestation of physical frustration stemmed from feelings of inadequacy.
“My mother always rocked me at night. She’d whisper that I was her precious little cherub.”
These were the words he spoke, words that fell like dead birds onto our hardwood floor.
My husband wasn’t the type to fix a leaky faucet, his shoulders and spine not strong enough to hoist me up over his head. In heels I’d bend low for a kiss.
He held a green M&M, another crunching between his teeth. “Why is it that the green ones are so sexy?”
I didn’t respond. I watched the sky flex silver, blue, then pink, like candy sucked long beyond recognition.
These were the days of loose thread, the unraveling of string from a spool, when the smallest of cherub wings were unable to lift us from what held us.
Pete Stevens is the fiction editor at Squalorly. His most recent stories can be found at Pear Noir! and Blue Earth Review, while forthcoming at BULL. In the fall, he will be starting his MFA in fiction at Minnesota State, Mankato. More at petestevensfiction.wordpress.com.