And His Life Wasn’t Ruined With a False Report

Two decades. He’s appeared. Unannounced. Untimed 
like lightning on a bluebird day. In my lover’s bed. 
Or mine. Picks me up by the hair, throws me 

into the back of his brother’s Jetta. Strains, eyes shut, 
hard, as I stare at the fogged window through wet 
eyelashes, whimper as his fingertips leave 

their reflection in broken capillaries on my hips. I don’t 
know how he finds me, unwinds me, rewinds me. But 
I only break the surface hearing the echoes of my own 

wail songs. Same verse. Same refrain. The familiarity of

                            No.                      PleaseNo. Stopstopstop.

                     Stop.                Please. It’s okay.                     Shhhh.

I’msorryI’m sorryI’m sorry. Please. I’msorryI’m sorryI’m sorry.

         Shhh.Shhhhh.Shhhhhh. PleaseStop. PleaseNo.

                          No.No.No. Please. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

It’s okay.                         Shhhh.Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.No. 

                       Please. Stopstopstop. StopPlease. PleaseStop.

I’msorryI’m sorryI’m sorry.

                                                It’s okay.                          No. Shhhh.

                                                     I’m sorry.

                                                                I’m sorry.

                                                                                   I’m —  

And my lover’s hair cups my face, the tips like paintbrushes
swirling my tears onto canvas. She shushes me. Tells me I am 
me and she is she. Breathes through her nose into my ear, sighs 

warm depth into my empty spaces. My grip releases from her spine, 
lungs release the fog. I don’t know how long I was gone. Her lips 
whisper It’s okay as they kiss my neck. Ask me if I’d like a glass 

of water. I inhale the scent of the room, my room.
And the song still hums through my brain, the aches 
still swim through my bones. But I’m home, and I say 




What are you looking for?