Driving West

by linda a. sullivan

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I know today’s the day you drive west, but there are hours left yet in this city and you want to drive me home.  Heavy wooden doors swing behind me when I leave the Old World Restaurant where we met.  I imagine leaving you at the corner of State and Adams, but I swallow a lump of good intentions and follow you to the parking garage. 

In your rented leather seats, I turn the radio dial, playing an interrupted static symphony while you tell me this is far from home for you.  I don’t tell you that you’re far from home for me.  I just give directions saying exit here and take a right.  You listen for miles and then pull into an empty parking lot where I didn’t tell you to turn. 

The air outside the car is pregnant, waiting on a storm.  By the time it rains, our breaths are heavy, our exhales pushing raindrops off their course to our sneakers and the asphalt.  Soggy and shouting over the clouds, we leave light posts that we pretend are goals and sit on the porch at home, playing guitar while our clothes warm in the dryer.

Tomorrow you’ll drive to Denver, through the Rocky Mountains to California’s coast.  These hours before you leave are mine to keep.  When our clothes come out, fresh and dry, it’ll be the end of you and me.     


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