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.
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.
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.