Northern Dark

Kristen sits on the bed, only in her briefs, smoking a French cigarette.
The sunrise is weak and watery; it makes her skin marble pale, distant.
The freight train rumbles by, it’s horn the howl of an enraged demon.
She is enraged and numb and distant, only that same demon can hear her howl.

Coffee with her before I go to work, before she leaves for Rochester, gone forever.
She is in her old and stiff leathers, holding her scratched helmet, already gone inside.
There’s nothing holding her here now, and a shared past now ruined pushing her away.
I love her, but she only came for a bed, and someone to hold the sky up a little longer.

I watch her put on her helmet, fire up her motorbike, and speed away, leaving for good.
I watch until she’s out of sight, knowing I didn’t make her go, but I couldn’t make her stay.
The living room/bedroom/den still smells of her exotic cigarettes, homemade, lilac perfume.
I walk to work on campus, heart aching, and hoping she finds peace up in the northern dark.

 

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