A Few Cracks in the Can­vas

Prairie Fire - - TABLE OF CON­TENTS - JOSHUA LEVY

A Few Cracks in the Can­vas

Mir­rors have been un­usu­ally cruel.

In the bath­room, in the guest bed­room, by the front door...

Over sup­per, I say to my wife of thirty-one-and-a-half years: “Honey, our mir­rors are liars.”

She care­fully places her fork on her plate, hav­ing im­paled a Brus­sels sprout.

“I know,” she whis­pers.

“They in­sist that I’m a wee old lady.”

We race each other up­stairs to the mas­ter bath­room.

I let her over­take me, be­cause I could stare at her bum like the sun.

“Je t’ac­cuse!” I roar, point­ing at my­self in the mir­ror.

I look mis­shapen, wrin­kled, and can see my scalp through my hair.

My wife blows me a kiss that bounces off the glass and makes me tin­gle. “You’re de­li­cious,” she says. Love must be the ul­ti­mate sea­son­ing.

She stud­ies her smudged re­flec­tion in the dirty mir­ror. “God, how can you sleep with me? I look half melted.”

“You’re still the same paint­ing I fell for,” I say. She blushes a painter’s hue. I add: “Do a few cracks in the can­vas ruin a mas­ter­piece?”

I tend to take an anal­ogy too far but, luck­ily, this is one of the things she likes about me.

My wife takes lip­stick from the drawer and, around us in the mir­ror, draws a sloppy heart.

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