Don’t Walk Where Water Gathers

January 3, 2008
By Erica Senior, Berea, KY

You’d probably kill me
If you knew how much I think about you.
And I’d probably commit suicide
If I discovered how little you thought about me.
Every second you spend with me
Tallies and grows like a puddle,
All of it together, something throws;
Until it’s an ocean of lifetime depth
Swimming with anger, sympathy, and worry.
You look at me, so differently.

But what I didn’t know,
As I stared, so intimately, back at you;
Was that after I’d walk out the building,
(Breathing scarcely) into the parking lot,
(Furiously blushing) and to your car,
(Preying on every chance to laugh); that you would open the door for me.
I’m so sorry! Excuse me!
I stumble back, my heart drudging with dread,
Face twisting in all emotions, like a baby that needs to be fed.
I’m having a meltdown; soon I’ll be brain dead.
He tells me to calm down. I relax and smile;
Oh, I laugh nervously,
I thought that was your-
He’s walked away
I pull myself together, self contentiously looking around
There’s a huge puddle, about a foot deep,
On the ground
She’s coming out of the car.
I try to tell her – wait; but it’s too late
Her heel, foot, and leg fall in.
In utter disgust and disregard; she screams, curses, withdraws, and shakes
Water flies everywhere.
She doesn’t care.
I watch her, but zone out and wait, still in doubt,
Why would he bring his sister here?
Then grin as I think, it’s so cute, how he and she are so near.
He’s coming back with some bags and paper towels
Hmm, she must have called him about it.
I wonder why she didn’t ask me for help, I could have got it.
I wander around. I’m still holding my stuff.
I could’ve left this on the ground.
I’m mad; I always act stupid when he’s around.
He calls me to come closer. He stands next to the open door,
Holding hands with his sister still in the Rover;
He introduces me to her.
He says, “This is Amanda and I love her.”

As they move in to kiss I split,
I’m everywhere yet in the same spot. They laugh.
He throws a laugh at me; He knew, and still forgot.
He’d forgotten about the puddle.
In astonishment he laments,
“How did I forget?
That’s what the towels were for, s***!
I got them for you, here!”
He hands some to me. I look down.
The girlfriend shouts: “and me!”
He jokes, “There’s not enough to share!”
But I tune them out,
Because looking, I find that my legs are wet too.
I scan the land starting from the puddle they’d stepped in
Not too far, are a few more back by the front of the car.
I don’t even remember stepping in one.
But the evidence was clear.
There were tracks from my shoes coming from there to here.

Today makes three months from that day,
Now, even from a thunderclap in the clear,
I know rain is about to fall.
The same rain that fills gaps in sidewalks,
The same rain that crawls down walls
The same rain that makes traffic stall
The same raindrops are always small but seen by all
I open my umbrella; rain no longer touches me when it falls.

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