The Spill

I almost. I could have. Maybe I did – just a little – without ever really knowing it. This is how my heart takes the last word and turns it into a question. It should be familiar enough to me by now – this not knowing – this wondering that runs on and on, leaking into everything, unable to be wiped up or put away.

My mother tells me I am lucky to have such passion in my life. Not everyone does, believe me, she says. I had you and your sister, but you’re grown up now. My father hasn’t said anything in years – or, what is longer than years? – what is longer than years but in a way that’s not sad? Maybe he’s never said anything at all to me. Maybe I made him up. But my hands are cursed, and the knuckles crack, and I am so sick of my spilling heart.

How to untangle these swollen veins? How to untie these red strings? How to make each violence into a story of forgiveness? I’ve been writing for years just to try to change it. Almost. I could have. Maybe I did – just a little – against all reason… against all discouragement…

Maybe I have.


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