20-20

We climbed into the car that summer evening,
The air heavy with a damp humidity.
You turned the key in the ignition,
Sending the engine into an angry roar.
My stomach was clenched,
A certain unease palpable in the rearview mirror.
They say hindsight’s 20-20.
You backed out of the driveway,
The gravel crunching under the weight
Of the car, heavy as your heart.
You began to speak words so sharp,
They struck like knives in the darkness
Around us, illuminated only by streetlights.
Life as I knew it fell in shattered pieces
To my pained and helpless hands.
You pulled a thread in the tapestry
Of our family, unwinding the world.
The word “separation” crawled under my skin
Like the cold of a shiver that comes without
Warning.
Tears pooled from my eyes and ran
To my lips, lost and looking for some direction.
I quickly brushed away the liquid heartache
As we pulled into the restaurant.
We climbed out and waited as you ordered
Soft-serve ice cream, as if it could soften the blow.
The sweet sugary sensation struggled down my throat
As I acted unphased by the uprooting of my life.
We pulled back into the driveway of a house
That was no longer a home,
The taste of chocolate melancholy
Still on my tongue.

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20-20

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