I’m Done Driving Down a Dead-End Road
Because all I’m left with in the clearing, between the branches my height with no leaves and those taller, so green, at the meeting of gravel and pine straw, is:
- A MRSA infection on my elbow, just below the tattoo I got last winter while you sat, reading, raising your eyebrows every time I winced. I must have caught it from you, from when I kissed you two weeks before I left and a few days before you met someone new. The antibiotics haven’t been working for me the way they worked for you. My arm is turning kind of green and I’m hoping that the day it sprouts a sprite, a little man, a new life, that that day coincides with the pain in my chest joining my lost child, the one I told you about in a dream, and my lost wild personality that got you to smile the first night in that bar.
- An inability to not order the chips and cheese at Taco Bell, even in the drive-thru in my hometown, 1500 miles and a time zone away from where you’re staying for the summer, even though you won’t be home to side smile, only showing that one sparkle canine, even though you never asked for anything from me anyway. I feed them to my dog and I get a little bit more high until they’re not yours, they’re just mine.
- Every shirt I ever gave you, neatly folded in my closet.
- The persistent smell of patchouli oil in the seams of my couch, woven in the strands of the Vera Wang towel you bought me for Christmas because you’re ridiculous, on the inside of my wrists at 4am when I’m camping in the Rockies, in the air in this fucking clearing at the end of this dead-end road. You’re ridiculous.
Because all I’m left with in this clearing is my hands scrambling in straw to uncover the ring you left on my windowsill, still covered in still-melted wax from the candle we bought at Shopko last fall.
Because all I’m left with is all that I’m left with all that I am all that I’m left with.
Meaghan Loraas lives and writes in Texas. She enjoys drinking craft beer with her friends and watching reality television with her dog, Harriett. Her fiction has most recently appeared in subTerrain Magazine and Plenitude. She is a first year MFA student at Texas State University San Marcos. Follow her on twitter: @meaghanloraas.
Photo by Benny Lin