Marriage – Lisa Mangini

Middle English, Old French. From Latin, “marito,” literally “give in to marriage,” or
“maritus” (“lover,” “nuptial”), from “mas” (“male, masculine, of the male sex”). If I trace
back to the roots far enough, does this translate to a means to give in to men, to make oneself
masculine by adopting his surname, by adapting to new needs. “Missus” is not so far from
“Mister” missing a possessive apostrophe. I think of being lazy, thirteen, neglecting the tasks
assigned for allowance. My mother walked me through our three-bedroom ranch by the hand,
pointing to each used glass, errant coffee spoon and saucer in the house, stood behind me in the
kitchen until I could see my blurred face reflected in the wet chrome of the sink drain, the way
one knew the dishes were done, just one of many skills needed to be a wife.

Lisa Mangini
holds an MFA from Southern Connecticut State University. She is the author of “Bird Watching at the End of the World,” a full-length collection of poetry, as well as four chapbooks of poetry and prose. Her newest release, “Ambivalent Nymph,” is available from Five Oaks Press. She is the Founding Editor of Paper Nautilus, and teaches English at Penn State University.

Download a PDF of Issue Six

Pay what you want, starting at the low, low price of free.


Pin It on Pinterest