We talk about calling it quits for at least the thirty-ninth time as we drive past the paper mill at night. The bleaching process uses sulfur-based compounds and the odor haunts the air in the same way it used to stick to my grandfather’s clothes. He worked the mill for forty years. Worked there, and came home to beat his wife.
The Five Most Common Reasons for a Marriage to Fail
1. Lack of communication
3. If your arm didn’t choke my waist at night
4. If we’d bought that green, barn-shaped house by the river, the one your father called too small, and
5. Who am I anymore when I bleach away the you?
I said, I want to curl into the corner of your lips like a white crystal of salt.
We roll on a mattress on the floor, breath as stark and white as bleached bones.