Terror is a mirror in which your eyes belong
to a woman wearing sunglasses. There she is
now, pulling out of the parking lot across
the street in a new convertible, bottle
of Cabernet brooding like a teenager
in the front seat. Longing is that bottle
of wine you may never open. But there is
the woman again, lighting a cigarette
on the corner of Sixth and Twelfth.
St. Vincent wraps a shadow around her
shoulders as she flicks the cigarette
onto the ground and ducks into the dark
of Fat Tuesday’s. You have spent years
following this woman across the city,
gathering her cigarette butts
and stuffing them into your mouth.
Longing is a form of terror. It is
the same woman hovering over postcards
in a small White Mountain town. First
you are surprised she has anyone
to write home to. Then you realize maybe
she’s been following you. But that’s
impossible. Because this is your
mother. She abandoned you long ago.
Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2001
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.