She walks foot to foot along the wooden slat to her car in the lot, and shudders once as the door latches before turning the key, then coasts down Peach Street to the place where you won’t be again.
She passes the Chinese restaurant where she thought you’d go sometime soon, and then the other one that sold shrimp fried rice to take out once, on her way down to the place where you won’t be again.
She turns right at Elby’s and passes the corner of Wood Street where you drove in the Lincoln (not your car) the night that someone saw you as she winds her way to Reed Street and the place.
She comes to Panos’ and spots Vi’s hair beneath the sparkling lights inside, the tall chair at the counter by the clock that isn’t there now. At least she’ll not see you in that place where you won’t be again.
Ash at twenty eighth, where you would turn and then you’d beep your horns goodbye…She always gets a red light there, whether heading south or north in the direction of the place.
She stops at twelfth, again at tenth. The air is darker now around her. The warm black always spoke that you were nearby when you were, but the black is cold now by the place.
She feels that cold and silence like an orphan without shoes or shirt on, her breasts bare once too often without thought for a catching chill, as she pulls up right behind the place.
She fills the house with sound, and stuffs the air with things that people do until the folks on the TV news quit for the night. Left alone, she wants to fill the place where you won’t be again.
She pulls the comforter around her, making sure her feet are covered, on the couch which always slept a pair when comfort wasn’t the thing. And she cries, and tries to warm the place where you won’t be again.
© Ruth Ann Scanzillo
1983. all rights reserved. yeah, whatever.