The car bomb in the piazza exposed us.
We came home, but our masks were gone. We tried damn hard. Counselors, date nights—exchanging handwritten poems.
We hunted under the sheets. I felt like you were falling into a hollow and all the rope I could throw was cliché.
“Against the nightmares,” I wrote on your side of the bathroom mirror one morning.
Always we’re confined to the same scene: chirp of electronic car key, deafening jumble, rubble of bodies, steel twisting to siren wail, the flinching at knuckles and ears and legs, buttered in blood.
Then it starts to pull away.
A distant lyric, like in high school, and I begin to hear, I swear, T.S. Eliot’s voice going on, in Four Quartets. We woke up, of course.
The dreams? The skin grafts?
Restraint settled in because there was nothing left. And I did the only thing I knew how. I left you my last sentimental poem, scrawled at the bottom of the note I pinned beneath your wiper blade.
Michael Dwayne Smith’s writing appears at Monkeybicycle, Northville Review, Inlandia, Red Fez, and Mosaic, among other haunts. He lives in a desert town with his wife, son, and rescued animals—all of whom talk in their sleep. Conjure him using the spells michael dot blackbear at gmail dot com, michaeldwaynesmith.tumblr.com, or michaelthebear on Twitter.
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