I stole a few before leaving. The last one
ended after he had a great date
with a woman named
Jill who cancelled a few dates
because she had a hangover
or felt tired for other, unexplained reasons.
She strung him along for a month or so,
and he thought about her
obsessively. In the last entry,
she cooked him dinner, and he admired her
skin, legs, and petite body.
They didn’t use her Jacuzzi,
which had not been turned on in years.
They did, however, kiss on her couch
and outside against his car. He wanted
to stay there forever,
and as I tossed his journal into the dumpster
outside my apartment, I wished he could
stay there forever: a miniature man,
in a miniature woman’s house with three bedrooms
and an island in her kitchen. I wanted to draw them
into eternity in the corner of my dumpster
and let them live in a paper world
where they could never hurt anyone.
He could not get jealous and leave her,
and she could not find someone else
and quit returning his e-mails.
She was thirty-nine and wanted a child.
I know that she did not have a child with him,
but I wish they both could go on wanting
and waiting, never moving from that space.
Tricia Barker attended U.T. in Austin Texas for an undergraduate degree in English. After that, she taught overseas in South Korea. In 2001, Tricia received her M.F.A. from Goddard College in Vermont. For the past four years, she has taught English at Brookhaven Community College in Dallas, TX. Also, Tricia manages a Creative Writing Camp for children and teens in the Dallas/Fort Worth area each summer.