Wichita Lineman

Three steps behind her, weighed down with kids you never wanted, were afraid of wanting, I watched you flaunt your perfect godly marriage for years before the Fall.

I watched her grind you down into a fine powder drug dealers could smoke, her impossible angelic beauty blinding, devouring, daring me to tell. But you didn’t believe the freak show with the messed-up face, because I followed too, head bowed, hands behind my back and rotting from the inside out.

We were doomed before we hit grade school, chasing ghosts, burning for second chances, burning every bridge for the wrong ones, the strongest ones in the room filling up our empty, dirty, souls. How they sucked the life out of us, how much it felt like love.

But in my dreams, you come to me, begging, looking away, reaching out in a sudden gesture to hold my hand in the front seat of your borrowed SUV — to press my translucent flesh to your lips. Glen Campbell sings “Wichita Lineman” on the radio. It is always time to go.

There is no room for mercy, or regret. And yet, I wish I wanted more, I wish I could save you from the debris she left behind.


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