Taylor King

Hitchhiker

 

You place your feet on the highway,

gravel crunching and slipping beneath the soles

of your worn-out, hand-me-down sneakers,

two sizes too big.

Water drowns the ice next to the interstate

pushes it against the shallow shore,

cracking like thunder when land and water meet.

You remember thunder,

the booming voice of your distant father,

like the water, pushing you away

until you didn't have a place to call home.

You breathe out,

white fog rolling off your chapped lips.

You remembered fog, too,

the vacant eyes of your mother

wandering off into the distance like your breath.

Drifting like you.

Yellow headlights turn around the bend

and you raise your arm into the road,

point your thumb toward the stars

where you are finally free.

 

 

Inconsistent Love

 We would dance across the lake, snowflakes scattering after our footsteps, laughter carrying off into the cascading wind. Sometimes we would break, our steps uneven on the slippery, rippled ice, until we found ourselves back in time and step. We would dance across the lake at night, when the only remaining light was the dim reflection of the moon scattered across the translucent, white ice. Sometimes we would separate, our waltz pulled apart into two solo performances, until we found one another again. We would breathe, our lungs pulling cold air from the night sky, our noses red until the snow blanketed the ice and could catch the gasp from off our lips each time we fell.  We fell often, our dance amateur and easy to break, but also easy to reform. A pattern, one-two, rhythmically between us, kept so that we wouldn't be alone. Sometimes we would dance across the lake.

Picking Petals

 

You could have counted forks instead of spoons

because your husband had said one was misplaced.

Or counted the cracked cups by the sink

that you have learned to wash alone each night.

You could have counted the seconds that ticked away

since he last screamed your name and left,

bourbon on his breath.

You pick rusty spoons like flower petals

from the left cabinet, each piece a wedding gift.

He loves me. 

He loves me not.

 
 
 

THE COURTSHIP OF WINDS

© 2015 by William Ray