A Careful Measurement

It’s all I can do since you stopped writing to me
to recreate your image in a story
in which you are as tall as you ever were
and as sleek with the same bushy hair
but I’ve added some embarrassing skin afflictions

you are trotting across a country road in the rain
and to my credit, I don’t let any cars hit you
there is nothing but thunder and lightning
striking through the gravy of a sky
with the consistency of porridge
I have surrounded you with this setting
as a suffocating, lonely blanket
the mud staining the bottom of your skirts
and all the cows and horses in hiding
somewhere warmer than you will be able to find
until several chapters later
the scene is lumpy gray with mud and clouds
both splashing and infuriated
then, as you are running, your heel breaks

that is exactly how much I hate you today

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It’s best not to look back anyways

My rearview mirror is filled with darkness

as creamy and solid as a block of velveteen cheese

nothing cuts through it – no headlights, no police

through my windshield, the dust is stirring up

if i rolled down my windows it might smell heavy

and make me cough, so i don’t. I stifle myself into the seatbelt

which cuts into my collar bone while i hunch over the wheel

to cast predictions about the swerving motions and follow them

before they can take force and jolt me into commission

 

i used to dread this ride, the lack of police and headlights

the great nothingness behind me detracting from the dust

on the way to my destination – an apartment that holds

all of my blankets and my dog, who is ecstatic and wiggling

the warm flickering of vanilla scented candles my boyfriend has lit

and my lasting commitment to forging the road ahead

thinking nothing of last year, last month, or the last few minutes