The Cattle Tell Lies

Minced Oaths cont’d cont’d cont’d

16. Everything was set for the wedding.
Though the cows hadn’t been lying down,
that afternoon it rained nonetheless.

17. He liked the sound of stupidity in the morning.
He often punched above his weight.
She knew this, and rarely accepted his calls.

18. Her boyfriend was meek, and her girlfriend imposing.
He said: “I love you,” but she pretended not to hear.
She said: “I love you,” but she pretended not to hear.

19. Wednesday does not rhyme with junk-trunk.
Despite this, Ray continued to write villanelles.
Eventually, the EI cheques stopped coming.

20. He found them a nice apartment in Parkdale.
One bedroom with a den. Big kitchen. Yard.
When 11pm rolled around, it was apparent she wasn’t coming.

21. There are few things he cared less about in the world,
than other peoples dreams, and other peoples orgasms.
When she realized this, it was apparent why she wasn’t coming.

22. Her whole life, she thought the painting in her parents’
living room had been done by her grandmother.
Turns out it was Monet. Or Manet. But not Nana.

23. When she awoke, she knew she had made another mistake.
He moved his left forearm comfortably between her breasts.
“You’ll always be my future husband,” she whispered.

24. When told that Sam Elliott was not her uncle,
she cried. She would no longer be attracted to men
wearing moustaches. But he still refused to shave.

25. It was not cancer. It was not an allergic reaction.
His hair had greyed, and his humour darkened.
It was an inflammation of derision.

26. His bid for Parliament failed,
he decided to leave politics. She was still
ambitious, and began dating other candidates.

27. He had had too much to drink. His bladder was full.
He could not for the life of him find the second floor washroom.
He had become an easy drunk. The house was a bungalow.

28. The monkey tattooed on his upper shoulder
was meant to signify burden. As he got older, it lost
its shape, and came to signify mistakes.

29. He couldn’t remember his 24th birthday,
or when he started to go bald. But her smile,
the feel of her palm against his. That, he knew.

30. Their friends couldn’t understand why they hadn’t married.
Years later they would discover that she had suffered
from fanatical monogamy.

31. “It makes you consider what you don’t have.”
“What don’t you have?”
“Everything.”

32. She left her boyfriend’s apartment as he slept.
She made her way in the night to another man’s home.
It was warm for October, but love isn’t an excuse.

33. They spent the night at a motel outside Rochester.
Against his better judgment, he got a room with two beds.
He couldn’t sleep. He couldn’t tell her.

34. The jeans got skinny, then wide, then skinny again.
Music got worse. Gas more expensive.
He was still alone. Kurt Cobain was still dead.

35. They rarely danced, but she fit well in his arms.
At a wedding once, they sat at different tables.
It was a sign of things to come.