by Arda Collins
I was making a roast.
The smell wafted from the kitchen into the living room,
through the yellow curtains and into the sunlight.
Bread warmed in the oven,
and in my oven mitt, I managed to forget
that I’d ever punched someone in the face.
It seemed so long ago, I might not even have done it.
I went out into the yard before dark
and saw last year’s rake on the lawn.
It was a cheap metal one
that tore up the old grass.
I did that for a while.
When I went back in the house,
the roast was burned black
and the bread was hard.
I sat on the couch and watched it get dark.
I was getting hungry, but I felt afraid
of seeing the refrigerator light go on.
Then I would have to turn on other lights,
and then what would I do?
I heard a car pass once in a while.
I thought about a time on vacation
when I bought a newspaper and tomatoes
from a supermarket I’d never heard of.
I remembered an old bathing suit I had,
but I couldn’t think of what happened to it.
I could move away.
I could get in the car right now
and drive all night,
as soon as I had a sandwich.
Turkey, tomato, mayo,
Swiss, lettuce. It was exciting.
I still had my shoes on. I drove to a truck stop.
It was bright inside and I loved the world.
I bought a sandwich and ate it from my lap while I drove.
When I pulled up to my house it was quiet.
“Spring” from “It Is Daylight” by Arda Collins. Copyright © 2009 Yale University Press.