His car is new, the grass long
and bright. They spread a blanket
under the pines near the chapel,
unwrap Italian hoagies from
crackling white butcher paper, and
eat together, apart. She is ambivalent,
and finds his manner ingratiating, embarrassingly repentant.
He hands her a brown paper napkin,
laughs too easily at her half-joking remarks, makes it clear he fears
she's had enough. And he is right.
His apologies are a decade overdue.
The valley spreads broadly beyond
the little ridge, a film of ocher dust
tinting the air. His flattery makes her brittle and jumpy. So, when he offers
his hand to help her up, she
pretends not to notice, and when
he allows his lower lip to tremble,
she stands up, brushes off her jeans,
and feels for her keys. Following her
to her car, he subjects her to
one last explanation, their final
passage, ridiculous, entangled.
(c) 2014, by Hannah Six