He told his wife,
When I scratch my face
I am scratching my face,
not making secret baseball signs.
When I say I’m going to clean the couch,
it’s not because I think
you “did something dirty” on it or to it
(no one says you did), it’s because
the generous people who gave it
to us—religious friends of
your sister’s—gave it to us because
their cats had ruined it by pissing
on it and it stinks. And I am
tired of the stink.
When I set up my stereo it’s to hear
my favorite music, not to spy on whatever
you are not doing—you are not doing
anything but staring out the window—
and certainly not to broadcast sounds
of screaming children. The screaming
children live right next door
and need no amplification by me.
There are other things
he might have told his wife,
but after he had told her these things,
he had had enough.