East Troy Street
Dad’s rusted two-door,
paint chipping hot sauce,
cooling on East Troy.
Houses and factories lean back
to back. A father and daughter,
linger on a sidewalk crack.
We tilt our eyes toward the sky
washed in interstate orange,
searching for stars we cannot find.
I saw so many, Meg,
he coughs and then spits,
Up in Canada, they covered the sky.
Bears and moose, too, endless
coolers of beer, his buddies,
their brotherhood, the giggles of loons
all doing their thing
to heal the chemical burn on his thigh,
the chronic bronchitis,
all making a mighty quiet
to drown the machines screaming.
Someday, wouldn’t it be something
to run a fishing camp up there,
up north in Ontario,
you and me, Megs?
How many dreams tumbled
from his lips
like lotto tickets from his glove box?
Yeah, Dad. Sounds cool.
Someday, we’ll do it.
I only knew this one
spilling out from his lips
on East Troy.
She Writes The Kame Sutra
A woman who loves her husband
should always act in perfect obedience to his wishes and desires as if he were a kind of divine being.
Try to stop her!
For as Gonardiya observes:
makes her husband
As soon as she hears her lord’s footsteps,
she must order his feet
to a feast or social gathering.
Go out with her!
She should always ask his permission first
to wake him
when he sleeps.
If her husband has been unfaithful,
good wife should never blame or scold him too bitterly, no matter how angry she may
feel how much she has suffered,
and reproach him,
for as Gonardiya correctly observes:
Women spy through the keyhole,
and flowers are cheap.
Cocks, cuckoos, monkeys
control the old servants,
but she must never give away
never laugh loudly
When her husband is away
not neglect her household tasks,
sleep near everything possible,
cherish her friends,
increase business ventures,
See how she has conducted herself.
Whether of a noble family,
a virgin widow,
or a concubine,
women who lead this kind of life,
win love, respect and gratitude.
[Author’s note: Erasure from “The Wife,” in Kama Sutra: The Hindu Ritual Of Love,
Complete and Unexpurgated. Castle Books, 1963.]
Meghan Vigeant writes and teaches creative writing, storytelling, and oral history. Her work has appeared in the Island Journal, FEM, Balancing Act 2, and Maine Boats, and has been featured on public radio and in podcasts. Vigeant was a Monson Arts resident and an Island Institute Fellow. She is the author of Guts, Feathers, and All: Stories of Hard Work and Good Times on Swan’s Island, Maine, published by Island Institute. Her MFA in creative nonfiction from Stonecoast is forthcoming in June 2020.