Cloudless Nights

Wish you’d followed me that night, out to the curb where the air was October crisp and changing. Needed to clear my head, but you were a fog I couldn’t drive out. So I rolled the windows down and let it seep in.

Didn’t know I cared that much. Sheesh.

Soon you were a blanket. Newly settled, warm. Covering everything, backseat to dashboard. I liked the way you sat, your gasping laugh, staccato. “What a horrible laugh,” I thought. “I love it more than orchestras. I love it more than river wind.”

I think the only word that rhymes with you is me. Like orange. Or kumquat.

So what’s goodbye when I’m still accelerating through a cloud of you? “Hey beautiful,” a mist against my lips. The condensation on my neck: “It matters.” Those tattoos you hate, and how your skin sits looser around your hips. Your mouth and what is left of you when we lie in bed and whisper.

I didn’t even look back. Just hopped from the curb and dashed the street. I wish I’d done it like a movie, not a fog. I wish I’d shouted: Kumquat! Jackshot! Sexpot!

But no. I just cried in my car until it cleared, and knew I’d think of you in slow motion for days and years. Listen to that record and wish it were about me, like silly girls do on cloudless nights.

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