Rain pricked my face through the screen door & I knew it dripped down the back of your T-shirt. A neighborhood dog crooned. Still, I pushed you into that dark wet after our ritual hug against the peeling doorframe & then those words next to my last name. I pushed you out, turned on the outside light, & said go home instead of I love you, too. It wouldn’t be right to believe a whiskeyed tongue. The beagle kept howling—the heckler. To take your keys & put you up on my sofa for a night didn’t seem safe after those words—afraid to throw friendship at fire. I pushed you out on slick stones in shiny grass. My family name was a prayer on your raspberry-stem lips. I felt whole when you said it. I never told you that. You were the first I told I was engaged. You came to our wedding. Years later, I still hadn’t told you when you died in a car wreck on a different rainy night. Had someone else pushed you out in the slippery dark? Did a hound howl a warning before you said you loved her, [last name]?
FLASH GLASS: A MONTHLY PUBLICATION OF FLASH FICTION, PROSE POETRY, & MICRO ESSAYS