Single Second :: published in Side B

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Listen :: AFI :: Single Second

Single Second

My car putts   up    the mountain,
   the gas pedal pushed down to the floor,
               gears grind as we crawl
    past telephone poles and trees.

                                                          They say smell is the most
                                                                    acute              trigger
                                                                                                       to memory –

                                                       He smells
                                   like sweat and cold air
                     with a trace of stale cigarettes.

A single boulder lies
               displaced :  along the side of the road :
                                                                  Giant’s Despair.
                                  As if nature knew
                  we would need
                  this marker       someday.

I climb through the trees,
                     brace myself against
     the smooth rocks
             slipping
a little on fallen leaves.
              I look back,
                   to see he is still        behind me.

This is
         the first time I
                        have seen this place in the light.
      The rocks :  brown and gray instead
                of the shadowed black they always
       have been :
            the ledges not as menacing.

I sit on the flattest rock,
face the city hidden        behind the woods.
                                                           He sits down,
                                                           his back to mine.

I’m sorry about… he starts.
         I love you.
I turn to him, I lo…We don’t
            work. I can’t do this anymore.

I stare at the spray-painted
    boulders – some writing so old
              and worn it’s illegible
                     some so new it shouts
                                                      through
the trees. The public declarations
           of loves
                that have come             and gone,
                                 that were assumed
                                                         to last forever.

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