“Regardless” – poem by Megan Deroche

 

You wake up an hour early, to scrub the vomit out of the upholstery.

 

Last night, before she slumped, lazy-eyed in your passenger seat—

before that warning (suddenly)— pull over!

before neck bent, back arched out the door—

before she wiped her mouth on the sleeve of your sweatshirt—

you fell in love.

 

That cherry-haired girl, sloshing around the room like wine in a glass, you kept your eye on her.

What’s your name? she asked you, and you told her—

before you could ask hers, she was dragged away by some smudged-makeup blonde with a bottle of vodka.

 

You brew the coffee twice as strong. You curse the cabinet below your kitchen sink— no rubber gloves, really? No fucking Lysol?

 

Still, those maple syrup eyes—

 

The coffee burns your palate and you can’t help but blame her.

 

Asking Are you okay? Are you okay? as she nearly toppled onto the sidewalk.

You slung her arm around your shoulder, walked her to her front door. Residual rain dripped slowly off the lamppost, dimming its glow.

 

You’d have liked to kiss her then, despite the bitter film on her tongue.

 

Keep the sweatshirt, you offered. You regret it immediately.

 

The rain starts up again on your way to work.

Despite the fading sour stench, your car still smells like her.

 

 

(note: the image is from www.washingtonpost.com)

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