Single Second

 

Written by Andrea Janov

 

 

My car putts   up    the mountain,

    the gas pedal pushed down to the floor,

                gears grind as we crawl

     past telephone poles and trees.

 

                                                            They say smell is the most 

                                                         acute trigger 

                                                                          to memory –

 

                                                         He smells

                                    like sweat and cold air

                      with a trace of stale cigarettes.

 

A single boulder lies 

displaced :  along the side of the road :

                                                         Giant’s Despair.

                                   As if nature knew 

                   we would need

                   this marker       someday.

 

I climb through the trees,

                      brace myself against 

the smooth rocks 

  slipping 

a little on fallen leaves.

I look back, 

    to see he is still         behind me.

 

This is 

the first time I

            have seen this place in the light.

       The rocks :  brown and gray instead 

of the shadowed black they always

        have been :

             the ledges not as menacing.

 

I sit on the flattest rock,

face the city hidden        behind the woods.

                                       He sits down, 

                                       his back to mine.

 

I’m sorry about… he starts.

          I love you.

I turn to him, I lo…We don’t 

             work. I can’t do this anymore.

 

I stare at the spray-painted 

     boulders – some writing so old 

and worn it’s illegible 

                      some so new it shouts 

through 

the trees. The public declarations 

            of loves 

     that have come             and gone,

 that were assumed 

to last forever.

 

 

Text © Andrea Janov

 

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