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Illustration by Arpan Roy

 

Under the rain, our intentions get lost within the tone of our voice because we must scream to be heard.

“You forgot your jacket,” she says,and I can’t tell if she’s angry.

“Don’t worry about it,” is my quick response, an attitude steeped in machismo.

The rain ignores us while continuing to bend the wind, hammering the scars at the back of my throat.  Water strikes in checkerboard fashion, horizontally pushing me further away from her though my feet have not moved.  My umbrella snaps backward, and now it catches the water, making me the only ally this storm can claim.

The gutter below flushes wave after wave back onto the street.  Fleets of tinged garbage float past us on barges of plastic diapers and yesterday’s news.  Their words, once slick and important, evaporate quickly into the bruised and purging waters which now run backward against the asphalt, against all time.  This storm, alive and threatening, reminds me of the mystery of cancer, death by default, and the uselessness of pain.

“My father died on a day like this,” I offer, and she’s getting harder to see.

“Go home,” is her response.

Campeche Mayans and the shamans of Quintana Roo believe the world ended in 2012, but such declarations are only spirit dreams, abstract warnings of blacker shifts to come.

Into the storm comes a barrage of her tears. I pull her close and whisper my forgiveness.  She is cold though defiant, her soiled beauty and torn tennis shoes mesh wonderfully together reminding me why love should be reserved only for the truly foolish, and why our nineteen years together always seem like one.

She disappears into my embrace, a burst of thunder dies between us.  I lift her hand.  I take her home.

 

About the Author

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Michael Sarabia served in the US Marine Corps from 1975-1981 and currently teaches High School Economics and Government in Los Angeles.