The quiet gets in

ImageIn the blank moments between tracks, when the wind doesn’t blow past my ear in its loud whirr way, when the potholes can’t fill the space, I think of her, her and her; those that didn’t last, never struck it right, swamp rather than oil as my Dad would say. My brain’s attempt at connecting the ever-present mundane days, the word our worlds coined for the silent pain felt in one’s own company: loneliness. These roads I’ve driven, squares from her door, to her garage, to the empty dust lot where I parked my car for three months and then four more off-and-on. My life’s place markers the romantic pins and the new routes I’ve plotted to avoid: her high loft view of the street, seeing her, and then her new love get into the same passenger seat I’d spent hours listening to the XX in, shared stale smoke kisses, my bare feet blocking her side mirror view. And when I see her in my rear view mirror I turn three blocks too soon, refuse to check her passenger seat. When I see a tiny frame (both bike and body) I slow, move left, give-way to the cyclist like she’d want me to, and when it’s not her I smile and imagine she’s moved far from these streets we used to ride. All my fails are stacked inside, vertebra-tall and so strong, the repetitive one-way blocks I’ve made then and now remind me of the choices, the giving and all the taking I did, now that I can’t be kind to loving anyone, but me.

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