On the Occasion of My Sleeping with Your Boyfriend


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I have looked into Emily Post and come away with the following example of an apology: “My gardener has just told me that our chickens got into your flower beds. I hope they have not done a great deal of damage.” I hope it suffices. Let me add that traditionally, I have considered self-control the appropriate and reasonable accessory: every careerwoman should have some. But lately I have been carrying out experiments to test my hypothesis: the journals all encourage it. So here: try it yourself. Take a slice of fresh multigrain bread. Wait by the toaster and smell the hot deaths of falling crumbs until your slice is golden brown. Catch the moment in its pop-up when it hangs in the air, that millisecond of hover. Lavish it with butter left to soften on the counter. The cream soothes clustering holes – be careful not to drip. Now pick it up, place it just inside your teeth. Hold it there gentle as a hunting dog with a duck. Walk around your house, toast suspended. Pick up some laundry. Polish a baseboard. See how long it takes before your jaws crunch of their own accord, little spurts of grateful acid rushing to meet your tongue.

Jaime Warburton (MFA, Sarah Lawrence) teaches in the Writing Department of Ithaca College, where many people bring their dogs to work. Jaime has a cat, though, and leaves her at home. Her writing has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Sotto Voce, The Broome Review, Storyscape, and The Collagist; she is the author of the poetry collection Note That They Cannot Live Happily (Split Oak Press).