Jealousy in x parts


I see it growing every day. Rising from the top of my neighbor’s house across the street: a full third floor. Solid wood, sloping planes, personal space carved out of sky.

I hate my envy. In the past eight years, Carla was diagnosed with and survived breast cancer. Lost her father. I like Carla.


Tuesday, we made an offer on a house. Our stretched-to-the-max bid was dwarfed by an offer “well into the six hundreds.” The next day my sister called. She and her husband bid 650 on a Seattle mansion.

It’s the simultaneous congruence and incongruence that gets me. The symmetry and asymmetry.

The mansion would cost even more but there are ski slopes of rat shit in the attic, a fact I find evilly comforting. Sister and hubby are lawyers. My husband, tech-company vice president. Me? Nothing.


My doctor asks if I think I’m depressed. Husband urged me to make appointment after one too many pots left boiling ‘til they held only dry blackened rice. I like the kindness-wrinkles on my doctor’s face. I tell her I don’t think I’m necessarily depressed, but I am feeling down.


Just deleted an email. Ray from Oxfam. Desperation cholera chaos. Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan. Families fleeing Syria. Not enough clean water. My monkey mind chitters, I give them money. Then they pester me for more.


But, but... We sponsor a child in Paraguay. Automatically every month, we give a little for the flourishing of light and miracle: Luz Milagro. A two-year-old girl living with her grandparents and siblings after her parents died.

Sitting in my purple chair by the window, I see my neighbor’s house grow, board by blond board. My feet rest on the sofa, and I read the latest letter from Luz Milagro’s family. I picture green farmland, cows, dirt roads, water from a backyard well. 

A small person growing bigger every day. 

Sarah Endo lives in Massachusetts with her family. Her poems have appeared in Camroc Press Reviewvox poetica, and Literary Mama, and have twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

“Jealousy in x parts” was inspired by Matt Rasmussen’s “Elegy in X Parts.”