You slipped five fingers through my clenched fist and squeezed. I kept three of our four hands safely in my lap; your left steered the car through midnight air. The jarring shocks, surges of wind, Ani’s song – each moaned a death rattle down the road to where we were going. Some girls bond over shared lives; we bonded over holding on. Do you remember how I blew my Camel smoke from your window? Little cloudy prayers. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take the rules away, to gut the pit between us, that I would find myself tucked inside the warm crescent of your neck. Did they teach you to pray that way when you wore a Catholic school skirt? Did they whip your palms? Did they hold the closet door of you closed, too, with their bibles and their billy clubs? The Camry turned a last corner, a last chance to trace the lines where guitar strings slide on you. Ani leaned with us – Let’s grow old and die together, she sang. Let’s do it now.
Note: This poem borrows lyrics from “The Waiting Song,” a song written by Ani DiFranco.
Cyndie Randall’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Frontier Poetry, Crab Creek Review, Longleaf Review, The Pinch Journal, MORIA, and elsewhere. She works as a therapist and lives among the Great Lakes. Connect with her on Twitter @CyndieRandall or at cyndierandall.com.