I called you from the truck stop.
I planned to sleep there
all night.

The attendant mumbled something over
the loud-speaker about how unattended baggage
may be suspect, but I was busy talking to you, so I wasn’t
paying attention.

I was too concerned about the caution
tape surrounding the entrance.

Why must relief need a warning?

I only pulled the car over to unclench my hands in the first place.


You once told me I felt pain so deeply you needed
to build a bridge over it, wide
enough for us both to stand on—

You bought green muck boots.

You became a carpenter.

You told me, “you have to be tough with fruit
trees, don’t let them out stay
their welcome.”

I uprooted everything.

No more peaches.



Change cannot hinge on the accordion of weather.

The rain against the rhododendron
tunnels makes the forest roar and seem impossible
to leave.

Dead bees tangled in my hair means July is almost over.

You haul the garbage bags full
to the side of the road and we continue
to do terrible things to each other.

How did you see this ending?

We flip the switch.                                                                        The light goes off.

Surely, even the sea forgets its wreckage.



Night flooded and I couldn’t find the bridge
anymore (was there a bridge).

The lazy capo of the moon, drunk and forgetting—darkness
doesn’t destroy; it only confuses.

I thought I saw you in the fog, but it was only a stranger
standing beside a fence.

Ambushes of shadows like evening medications.

My clumsy hands no longer pointing to the moon, but at the pink ribbon
blood makes
when it mixes with water and circles
the drain.

Tell me, where is the bridge—

If this is really what I think this is, then I cannot
screw this up.


I climbed into the car.

the Atlas across the dashboard.

Look at how much space I’ll live
without you.



I unbraided
my long hair in the rearview, every exit sign
a vertebra along the highway’s back;

possibility without the bruises.

Sweetheart, I’m ready to confess tomorrow isn’t coming for us.

I pulled the car over,
whispered your name
into a shoebox, and abandoned it in the river
where we surrender
the things we long for most.

The empty passenger seat is real and it no longer depends on you.


I’ve mistaken shadows for churches.

I can build a whole world out of lack.

Meg Wade