Photo by Cathaleen Curtiss





The water ran black in the mornings.
.             The soil had plenty to say
.                          after being
silent for so long.
It wasn’t even the color
of water
that propelled her
.             into a downward
.                          spiral, but its
fleeting action,
.             its constant
.                          rushing away,
as if leaving
.             was all it knew
.                          how to do.
Black wasn’t worse
.             than the gaudy tints
.                          of that half-
forgotten fall, when a careless
.             wind
.                          licked her skin
as she sat on the porch,
.             watching him walk
.                          back toward his life.
All those days spent
.             in silent admiration
.                          of his voice
were water
.             under the bridge.
.                          Never again
would she wait
.             for the sound of his
.                          key in the lock,
would she bother
.             to look in the mirror
.                          at odd
hours of the night.
.             Never again
.                          would she take
his scolding for a sign
.             he cared.
.                          The squeal
of his brakes as he peeled
.             out from her driveway
.                          was now, at best,
a memory of something
.             she had lost,
.                          at worst, a regret
for having had
.             that something
.                          in the first place.

First published in Bluestem MagazineSummer 2019 Issue

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