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            By Erin Dorso

            It’s the ride back now.
            I drove the two hours between
            to tell him to his face,
            to tell him it’s through.
            “I’m through,” I said.

            He greeted me with a kiss
            like the ones in black and white
            taken after the war,
            and I let him dip me low,
            hair cascading like springs undone,
            because I wanted him to forgive me.

            He took my hand inside
            and led me to the kitchen,
            where a gift sat on the counter.
            It was small and dark, wearing a yellow ribbon,
            familiar packaging from jewelry commercials
            I had seen on TV and swooned at.
            I shouldn’t have opened it,
            but I did because I wanted him to forgive me.

            We sat on the dense rug in the living room
            and he told me about the day,
            and when he thinks of me.
            When you share your thoughts with someone,
            you feel close to them,
            and I allowed him closeness
            because I wanted him to forgive me.

            I said, “I can’t move back in,”
            and his wrinkling forehead
            caught my nerve in its crevices.
            His bewildered eyelashes
            flashing open-open-open,
            asking all the questions for which
            I had devised answers to.
            His mouth asked the one
            I couldn’t answer: “Why?”

            It’s the ride back now,
            and the steady ker-tunking
            of some wheel off balance
            feels like a renegade gear in my head,
            grinding and mashing all the things
            that make sense into a blankness
            working its way down my neck and shoulders.
            And as I press, lead-hearted, into the gas pedal,
            I justify it all because forgiveness
            is irrelevant.

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Document last modified on: 04/02/2006

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