Simple Summer

Sometimes driving is a sensory overload
like all the times when she would hold
her hand out the window just to feel the cold air
rushing underneath her. I kept the music loud enough
to drown the engine out because containing
those explosions hit so close to home
it almost pulled me back.

We took a break at all the tracks and we wouldn’t leave
until a train crushed all our quarters.
We knew the schedule by the insects in the trees.
The crescent rug burn on her knees was my reminder
of her plans for later on, and we would sleep
with half our faces on the window.

She caught handfuls of minnows that would swim
within the water between her palms,
and we would wait there while our clothes dried
in the broken sunlight long before we ever thought
of sleeping. We knew we couldn’t keep each other,
but we sort of hoped we’d wind up like a pair
of long lost library books, carried off to some distant
different town.

Those were the kinds of exceptions we were searching for
like rusty scissors in a forgotten drawer only sought out
in the worst of every circumstance.
She never had a fighting chance of becoming something
giant like she should have and I will forget that final
morning, when she raced me to the train leaving the train yard,
if it kills me. I fell behind but she just kept on going, and when it was clear
that I would never make it she gave me just a simple wave goodbye.

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