Robin Smith

My Husband Doesn’t Want to Read My Poetry Anymore

& wants to read hers instead. He loves her metaphors, & she doesn’t use the word blue or glitter as much as I do. My husband calls me stupid & boring, yells at me for leaving a pair of socks on the floor & calls me an idiot for dumping the clean laundry on the bed. He kisses her when I’m not home & spends nights over at her apartment while I watch reality tv alone on the sofa where I caught him fucking her just the night before. My husband yells at me for spending money on books & flowers & threatens to cut me off. When I argue that it’s my money, too, he grabs me & throws me into another room against the bookshelf. My poetry and literature anthologies fall as heavy bullets around me. I take the gun out of the safe & give it to the UND police department, I hide the sharpest knives in case my beautiful husband gets uglier. I book a trip to the cities & stay at a hotel with 20 floors & an exquisite bar. & I’m on Tinder & in 20 minutes flat I have hundreds of men vying for my attention. I choose one who is well read & looks kind, & together we dance at the Gay 90s while the dance floor fills with bubbles & I’m drinking Red Bull & vodka. His arms explore every inlet of my back & waist & the rivers of my red hair caught in his fist. He kisses me like it’s the last day on earth. I follow him to his apartment which overlooks the city & let him slip the thigh highs off. He looks at me as if I have caught the moon in my mouth & we spend the night crashing against the walls & floor. In the morning we are curled up like two kittens in the sunshine & we don’t know each other’s middle names, but in this moment, tenderness is all I want. I write this exact poem & tuck it behind the coffee maker next to the missing kitchen knives, & my husband reads it a week later on his way to work & howls like a shot werewolf, but I’m already packed & gone.

About the Author

Robin Smith is a femme, queer, writer & scholar originally from Northern California. Robin is the author of the chapbook Confessions of a Love Addict (Dancing Girl Press, 2020), winner of the Academy of American Poets Prize, Thomas McGrath Award for poetry, and the Katherine B. Tiffany Award, among others. Her work has appeared in By & By, Aji, Visual Artists Collective, Westwind, Legendary Review, and PACIFICReview, among many others. Her work has also been featured in anthologies such as Bliss and Drawn to Comics. She was the lead poetry editor for the Northridge Review, and founded is chief editor for Glut Poetry Review. Robin Smith was the judge of the 2019 Rachel Sherman award for up and coming poets. She received her BA and MA in Creative Writing (poetry) from California State Northridge and is currently attending the University of North Dakota where she is pursuing her Doctorate in Creative Writing. Her major fields include Post-1945 American literature (fiction with an emphasis on identity) and Contemporary Lyric Poetry. Robin currently teaches Writing Composition for the Launch program at Lake Region State College in Grand Forks, North Dakota. She also teaches kindergarten at Grand Forks Montessori Academy.