I wake up unwashed 

with two rubber bands on my wrist, 

extras for you in case 

yours break and you go back to 

picking away at yourself.

You drive us to the next town. 

You pack no bags. 

 

Erica Road is lined with foliage, 

the kind you don’t see on the east 

coast this time of year. As the 

clouds part over the bay, we sing 

like God is coming 

home with us. 

 

You bump the car too hard 

into the curb 

in a fit of frustration. 

The front-right wheel well 

skitters on the pavement. 

My anger is just enamel. 

You keep scraping me. 

 

You tell me you want seven children;

that I am special, if not important;

that everything is God; 

that I am a safe love, 

a good love, 

if not a great one. 

I paint your sentences onto smaller birds,

the migrating kind.

 

Still, I keep house:

I think of buying yellow tulips and

sending mail back home.

I walk the slow, careful paths around your

neighborhood until I grow so sick of them

I cannot speak.

 

Two nights, we go out to dinner.

You wear both of your good 

dress shirts. One is bright red.

I wear all white. 

I’ve planned on doing so. 

This way, when I retell the story

I might seem sacrificial, prepared —

innocuous.

 

We drive to the airport.

It’s the first rainy day 

since I’ve been here, 

six days beyond my welcome. 

My hand cramps when you grasp it,

a softness withering in my lap. 

I won’t move away. 

 

From the car, you watch me

try to leave you.

 

I waste four minutes at 

a broken ticket machine. 

Only when I relent,

turning back to your negative,

do you sit up in the 

driver’s seat and recede into 

the foggy line of piecemeal natives. 

 

Once, in the spring, 

it rained all day and you 

held me as I shivered and 

I wished more than anything 

to fit into you 

for as long as I could.

 

MIRANDA WOLLEN
Miranda Wollen covers the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Law School for the News; she also writes very silly pieces for the WKND. She is a sophomore in Silliman College double majoring in English and Classics.