Don’t Go Back
Justine Quammie Bassomb
I saw her once more. Her brown side bang still hung rebelliously off the side of her face, while the remainder of her follicle vines fell anywhere but down, and her brown retriever eyes still looked up with lonely abandon. Where had she gone? How was her mind? These questions struck me like flyers swapping dates in the wind. I knew nothing of her after she ran and heard nothing after I shut the windows. And my mistake became evident the next day when without her unstable babble, road rage behavior and with touchable tracings of her obsessive hair pulling compulsion I realized the cracked mirror, she punched, only had crooked faces of me and me and me. But here she stood lips rough and plump like freshly picked sheep’s wool and I only knew how to stumble forward and gather my old woman in my arms, thanking God she survived without me. I didn’t know that she could.
Time left us behind before we dislodged our bodies from one another. And when I stared at her face again she started to laugh a laugh of uncorked sanity and unhinged amusement, an aerial vibration she knew I loved to hear. Now I reached for her again but she stopped me by slapping my forehead with hands flat and charred and rubbing the bruise to an abrasive fire. She jabbed at the air behind my ear with her index finger and as I turned I scanned an empty street unravel to reveal a little boy, a teenage girl and my wife. They stood transfixed and transfigured with vacant faces and squeezed palms. With mouth slightly ajar, I turned back to face her but she had already moved away, once more.