The Spy’s Wife

I married him when he was still a man

Before he became a metaphor for himself,

A person concealed within an idea.

And they say I’m the crazy one.

They can’t understand why I pretend

Why I set fire to things and make myself sick.

Poor chap.  He’s given her everything.

The perfect life for the lunatic wife.


He lies

Even to me

and he thinks I believe him.

A fictional husband, a construct of a

boring imagination.

Sometimes I have this dream;

I’m standing right in the centre of some embassy do

And I start to shout as loudly as I can

I tell them what he really is.

I rip the dull grey overcoat right off his shoulders.

And do you know what he does?

He smiles.

That cocky, cigars and burgundy Eton posh boy smile.

That’s when I find that I’m carrying a knife.


I wake up.

I kiss the kids and pour milk on muesli.

I move a cloth over enamel that’s already clean and

My hands twitch as I walk past the drawer.

I’m longing to find out if he’s real, underneath.

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