Repeat Offenders

There weren’t any horizons past those hillsides when we met — close-quarters of narrow suburban roads, barking dogs and neighbors and the claustrophobic push of childhood homes. Get back indoors: our engines had failed us. College dropouts returning, strangers, watching old friends warily lost in TV dinners and home decor trends. Tell your mother to turn the TV down. We were both working in the mall, nerves grounded to full-time jobs, saving money for unmentioned dreams in the shoeboxes beneath our beds. You: beautiful and raw-lipped, disastrous past relationships; a wrecked car and a brain still reeling from three candy-coated months in Montreal. You hadn’t last very long. Welcome back to the working world. Never had a twenty-something moved so quickly in a Chipotle kitchen. Drink with your sister, drink with your boyfriend, back home quietly hating the ceiling over your bunkbed: return to your work-week, overtime, preoccupied operating your tattered dreams. Myself: drunk on my mother’s couch, all night, just to sleep all day and miss the regrets of warm sunlight. Suppress the screams from foreign lands. A collection of pens that wouldn’t write, nightmares’ cutting tongues on my eyelids, masturbating feverishly. Febrile seizures self-concocted. Please talk a walk with me: An act of desperation. Cigarette conversations by the dumpsters on our breaks. You had a catch in your rhythm and you reeled me right in. Flirtatious, confident, naive: we had everything for the two of us in a dream clamped in our hands. Love in a glass bottle we left on the roof, trunk packed with swimming clothes and summer shorts, miniskirts and additional cases of beer. Molly in the glove-compartment, books between the seats, playlist of 2016’s best indie. Sun-baked August highways stretching, endless, towards new lands long-ago conquered by poets with faces in the stars. Duct-taped hearts, our hands tightly clamped and the quiet promises that inevitable errs wouldn’t bring us to part, for we started this trip properly: that old glass jar left far behind in the pot-holed driveways of Home.

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