“When I think of Albuquerque,
I’m glad I left,”
she says.
“I don’t even remember
which red road I took.”

My mind sings something
about another tequila sunrise,
but that song was mine,
when I left LA,
looking for flowers in my hair.

We all leave
for similar reasons,
I think,
singing similar songs
about rearview mirrors
and disappointment.

The guys never understand,
until it is too late, baby,
it’s too late,
and the secret bags
are packed,
and for some goddamn reason,
she’s not answering
when they call
from a noisy bar
in Avalon.

I nod.

I flag the waitress for refills.

I hardly know her,
this woman,
but we are in a diner,
on a dirty street in Minneapolis,
sitting by the window,
and it has started to snow again.

That March snow that is about
giving up and living with discomfort.

“He was into that,” she says,
pushing her face
into a pucker of disgust.
“Not me.”

I missed what he was into,
so cover for myself
by pouring maple syrup
on the corner of my plate
and dragging a bite through it.

Though I have been floundering myself
for a decade or more,
I look through the winter light
at her moss eyes.

“You can do better,” I say.

Though I am utterly
uncertain that she can.

-Copyright Kay Winter

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4 thoughts on “Albuquerque

  1. I really liked this. Had me gripped, and has a great end:-)

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