What do you do with a major gift from an ex-boyfriend? Christina Socorro Yovovich did three things. 1. Hang his watercolor on her bedroom wall. 2. Listen as her new boyfriend (now husband) interpreted it. 3. Write an ode.
Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Christina has lived in Albuquerque for the past ten years. This spring she graduated from UNM with an MFA in poetry and nonfiction with distinction. Her poetry has appeared in River Styx
, Broken Bridge Review
, and Blue Mesa Review
Ode To an Ex Whose Watercolor Hangs on my Bedroom Wall
I always thought his transparent lines
made a pretty scene – tree, sky, electric pole.
Like him, to find beauty in hard lines
dominating growing branches. Soon after Eric and I
became an item – I preferred artistic types
but deigned to dabble with a mere engineer –
he studied that painting while we lay, naked, chilly,
and new, on my bed. I stretched and stole his covers.
He said, I like this, how he made it after the Sistine Chapel.
Chapel? I said. Its from a snapshot of his backyard.
But he took back his blankets, and showed me
how the electric pole reached down,
giving life to the beseeching branch –
a mechanical God insisting the spark upon
a botanical Adam. I looked.
By God, he was right.
I hadn’t known my ex had something to say.
I was glad, finally, to know this gift from him.
Glad too, to no longer have him.
Eric drew me in so my head rested on his shoulder.
He said, you seem like the kind of woman
who could keep me warm in winter and I said
he’d be better off with an electric blanket.
But I did not pull away. I’ve hoped to become less upright,
less of the ungrounded jolt.
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