Saint Joseph

By Larry Roszkowiak 

After the sex stopped I’d lie in bed at night, stare at the ceiling and plan carpentry projects.

I’d plan the miters and the cuts. I’d calculate the swing of the hinges. I’d plot the saw settings.

In my mind strips of wood moved through the air obedient to the blueprints developing in my mind.

I’d wallow in an orgy of fractions and complementary angles.

I saw the spinning blade both conquering and creating in one big glorious hollow-ground, belt-driven, two-thousand RPM, three-quarter horse-powered universe.

I could sleep because I was secure in my strength. I could build things to protect my family. I was good.

Good rhymes with wood. Girls smell nice. So does wood. Wood loves to be touched. So do I.

I could ease myself to sleep by imagining the finished product. With my eyes closed I’d feel my hands run down a length of shaped pine.

My brain was seeing with my fingertips. Fingertips like a microscope. Clean cuts. Clean cuts and snug corners. Smooth.

Perfection was mine . . . mine . . . mine . . . .

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