Deers and Hot Tubs and Wine Glasses and New Mexico

It’s like watching your wine glass break in slow motion,
after knocking over the flowers he bought you last year,
and you haven’t seen him since; although you’ve driven by
the spot he kissed you for the first time after calling your hair luscious.
Your hair! And you know your hair isn’t luscious, even when you come
straight out of the salon.

He always was the best liar.

And it’s like the time you found the puppy in the street.
And you knew the right thing was to put up fliers.
But secretly you hoped nobody would claim it,
because it was adorable, and you were so tired of being alone.
Then one day the phone rang and you could tell in their voice
it was the legitimate owners, and so you returned the puppy,
and you knew you did the right thing, but really
you wanted to do the wrong thing.

You named him Larry.

And it felt like the moment you saw the plane land
and you knew she was on it,
and your heart turned electric,
and shot fireworks like the fourth of July,
and you waited on the curb,
and waited and waited,
and after 3 hours you got the text
that she wasn’t coming,
and she didn’t want to see you anymore,
she found somebody else,
and so you went  to the bar with the sawdust,
and ate stale popcorn,
and told the bartender you were giving up women
because you’re tired of waiting
for their planes to land.

Tired of being a crossing guard.

And the collision was like that road trip to Tahoe,
when it was late and you were driving in the mountains,
and you came around a curve and your headlights caught a deer
in mid-thought and she stopped, and your eyes locked a second
before your jeep sent her off an embankment and down a ravine
into the dark; and the last hour of the drive you told yourself
that it didn’t happen, even though when you pulled into a gas station
you saw little tufts of deer hair caught on your license plate.

The man behind the counter had a gray beard
and scratched it with a toothpick.

You lost your breath like the time you walked in on your parents
and didn’t understand what they were doing, they were making
strange noises, and it was dark, and they didn’t hear you,
and you didn’t have the nerve to say anything, so you walked
back out never knowing what was going on,
until years later when you remembered, sitting at your desk,
studying for a Calculus test you were positive
you would fail.

But actually got a B Minus on.

You tingled like that time it was snowing and you were running
to the hot tub where you knew Ryan would be, shirtless,
and even though his arm would be around that bitch,
you couldn’t wait to get in the water with him;
and so you ran and slipped on the icy pathway,
and all night your butt felt sore and your breasts
were much smaller than hers, but you didn’t care,
because you and Ryan both laughed at that joke
that nobody else got.

At your twenty-year Reunion, Ryan was bald
and divorced and you were a lawyer; and even though
you reminisced about that trip, you never mentioned
the hot tub or falling in the snow.

But sometimes it doesn’t feel  like anything else,
it feels new; like tonight, when she text to come over
and you knew she’d be waiting for you when you stumble in,
drunk, and she thought it was an  imposition,
but how could it be?! Her hair laid across your pillow,
legs intertwined with yours. Always laughing like the world
is an okay place, although you’re always insisting
it’s not.

Sometimes it’s not
anything else;
it’s a snowflake
in a snow globe
on a dusty shelf
in a old gift shop
in Albuquerque.

snow globe


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