You Don’t Meet Your Husband in Philosophy Class

Image © Ambika Thompson 2019

by Karen Breen August 6, 2019

So, over the summer, I read that book by Descartes that you gave me.
He was wrong about a lot of things, I hope you know that.
Just like you trying to tell me that I couldn’t know you
and how it’s fucking easy.
I don’t know how to sit against the brick outsides of a building here
and not be conscious of the mud.
I don’t know how to drink anything with alcohol in it
and pretend it’s good.
I don’t know how to look at you when I shouldn’t mean to.
But it was nice when, in that blue and white diner,
whose ambience you were all about,
they assumed you were him.
It was nice to have that slice of cheesecake between us,
placing its strawberries on top with our own dirty fingers
and hoping your saliva would crawl up to my mouth over the forks.
I was driving, but I leaned into the divots of your neck and got us
lost because I wanted to,
you saying, “Where are we going?
Goddamnit, just pick somewhere and turn around.”
I was sorry about it before it happened.
I was sorry, before I knew you, that I hadn’t yet.
I was sorry I didn’t tell you your dumb hair looked nice,
but, hey listen, the desire of desire is desire anyway.

Karen Breen is a poet based in Okinawa, Japan. Her work has been featured in Granola and Hedge Apple and is forthcoming in Ethel Zine; Children, Churches, and Daddies; and Writing in a Woman’s Voice.  She is also the winner of the 2018 Laura A. Rice Poetry Prize. 
Ambika Thompson is a writer, musician and parent. Her work has appeared in many publications, such as Electric LiteratureFanzineRiddle Fence, and Crab Fats Magazine’s “Best of” compilation (2017). She is the founder and managing editor of Leopardskin & Limes, and is an MFA candidate in creative writing at Guelph University. Photo by Alexander Hilbert.