The Things I Should’ve or Didn’t or Couldn’t Say

The Things I Should’ve or Didn’t or Couldn’t Say


I should have said I love you but instead I said okay, and I should have said I like that new black hair thing, but I didn’t. I went grocery shopping.

And I should have told you how I was thinking of you when I saw that new kind of soda water and fruit juice, how that would fit into the way you are, and how I bought a four-pack of pomegranate. But when I got home you had left your goddamn papers all over the table again and I just went mute.

I should have told you about the dream I had where I sat in the darkness of our closet counting your shoes. But instead I blared fuck at the alarm clock and woke up the baby. I should have apologized for that, but I didn’t.

And I should have told you that when I saw a baby the other day, this little yawning thing of pink and white, I thought a long time about smiling and having another one. But I couldn’t. I was busy biting my fingernails and scratching my legs and finding new ways to fault you.

So I thought it might help me to make a list of all these things. I wrote it in pen on a napkin leftover from the takeout we ordered the other night. But when I put the list in my pocket it sweat like guilt and disintegrated into a billion pieces. I spent most of today trying to put it all back together, but I couldn’t. So instead I wrote this with the hope that you’ll never read it, and never know all these things I should’ve or didn’t or couldn’t say.


About the Author

JA Tyler is founding editor of Mud Luscious Press and the author of INCONCEIVABLE WILSON (Scrambler Books, 2009), A MAN OF GLASS & ALL THE WAYS WE HAVE FAILED (Fugue State Press, 2011), and A SHINY, UNUSED HEART (Black Coffee Press, 2011).