Word For/ Word: A Journal of new writing

Liz Mastrangelo

Accident Report

I can trace myself
                                                                         this is mine:
                         48 Periwinkle Court to Pleasant to Henley to Brimble to Turner
                         High School second floor the classroom with the broken speaker
                         to Brimble to Henley to Pleasant to 48 Periwinkle Court to the
                         garage with the rakes moldy lawn chairs and flat-tired bicycles
                         holding up the sides and the kitchen quiet with Lysol
            From CCD to senior prom to Puget Sound to City Hall
        From foster care to middle class
    From Pittsfield Hosp--
From a hollow mattress draped in a scratchy brown blanket in a motel near the military base, planes scouting from the sky, maybe, the permission of marijuana bliss; a soft fingertip on a collarbone, a sweet salving word on an open sore, a clawing need to be loved, for something to take root--

(that girl who told me goodbye made me a floating memory inside her)

(She carries me crying still, I hear it, she calls me)

At night on the couch as my limbs deflate he looks through me then reaches and squeezes my left breast while I'm asking him about our plans, goals "Could you be fair and even with the other parts of me, too?" Listen, not just look? Touch, not just take?

We live safe and straight (mistakes run in my blood but we wouldn't want that right now so he double-bolts the doors protects us and pours me wine and promises of drifting, out there, together) just the two of us

It's not what I married for

At my outloud dreams of children he smiled and bought me a house

this is his:
    48 Periwinkle Court to Route 89 to Exit 10 to corporate to Exit 10 to Route 89 to Shaw's for the ice cream and the toilet paper I texted to his BlackBerry to 48 Periwinkle Court

chased by nobody's cries

This colorless place haunts me more

(He'll be unhappy and I'll be responsible, the woman, without permission)

But he loves me he loves me so much he loves me so much

(I don't sit near him he can't reach me and I say:)

(a dark hand grips my insides and yanks down I feel a little sick)

He says I would die if anything happened to you you're my everything I wouldn't choose there would be no choice for me and I know there would be for you how could I live with you and whoever else came along knowing that? I need to tell you

(I am his everything so much that he would tell me anything to keep me happy but that doesn't and how can he think it does)
        I need to tell you that things haven't changed for me

                I need to tell you that things haven't changed for me and I don't want (how could I have stopped it, in a place I know so well, cruising without looking? How could I have seen him, this, coming--but who doesn't want--) someone who needs so much

Well. I say. Calmly. So many accidents.

(this might be the end this might really be the end rushing heart rooting child oh how I do love you)

(Warning: ruptures in the lines may cause disturbance)

His eyes rolled and his lids swelled they looked like fish lips and I arched over him and around him and held his smooth, loose fingers as his body trembled frigid.

Maybe it was cloudy he lay in silver smoke. Maybe I couldn't see.

He was putting out the garbage.

(where the hell was I going? it's so hard to remember the molecules of the landscape behind me swim and swirl into whitish gel all I see suddenly is his face slipping from the rearview mirror and I feel him under me, so my foot presses hard! hard!)

I heard a cruel spirit whining.


(dense dull apron of nausea everywhere I've had this feeling before and I've lost it but I know I won't lose it this time now I'm moving forward to another room)

Had we been fighting?
                                from evening to vodka to bed to floor to midnight to hot morning pillow
                        from hydrangea to Aruba to hardwood to cable
                from our collision under the sycamore trees to the first ultimatum

He hovers long and lurid under the sheets

and now the landscape behind becomes the landscape before and the rush and the crash hit the ground vomiting warm the hand not gripping but pushing and things start to flutter and I was driving out and he cut me off and now I am laughing tickled and prodded from within because my husband crossed the wrong woman going the right way (that would be me)

That girl (I know, I am) wanders the world to the thumps of my heart

this new life I know my feet are planted body real trail stamped history made

                  48 Periwinkle Court to
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from withering trust to swelling certainty
from rooting love to turning around and taking flight