Jehanne Dubrow

The Epileptic
February 11, 2013 Jehanne Dubrow

The Epileptic

 

Conversations with him are like waiting for thunder. Between the long pauses, she pours herself another cup of tea.  If this is marriage, then it’s a mystery—those pills he takes for headache, for instance, and when he claims the afternoon is the smell of rotten fruit.  Sometimes he sees the air as yellow lines.  Objects grow small or very large, depending on his sleep.  This has happened before, he says.  He says, I’ve never seen your face before.  At parties, everyone waits while he stares into the middle distance of a room, at the vase perhaps, or the pink hibiscus blooms. You’re a stranger, he says.  And she agrees.  They lie without touching for weeks.   Only later, when she leaves, does she learn the name for this disorder.  All the transient signs:  the pale halo of secrets around him.

Jehanne Dubrow is the author of five poetry collections, including most recently The Arranged Marriage (U of New Mexico P, 2015), Red Army Red (Northwestern UP, 2012), and Stateside (Northwestern UP, 2010). Her work has appeared in Virginia Quarterly ReviewThe New England Review, and Prairie Schooner. She is the Director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House and an Associate Professor of creative writing at Washington College, where she edits the national literary journal, Cherry Tree.