was my golden birthday.
I drove us to a cabin
deep in the Smoky Mountains
where we lived on my dime for a week.
I bought my birthday dinner.
You yelled at me in public a lot
over this credit card ordeal and how
my worries made me look weak and worthless.
Unlike you, I knew
how to manage a revolving balance.
For my present,
you bought me a pint of Jim Beam.
For yourself, a pint of Maker’s Mark, twice the price.
I hewed the broken zipper
on our tent, and when you unzipped
the wrong side, you called me a fucking liar,
shook your fists, and swore that I did it to you on purpose.
Do you even
remember these things?
It was always my fault,
until I stood on solid proof otherwise,
but then you were suddenly and brutally victimized by the truth.
Why I couldn’t
leave you there, in the worst
of the Smokies, in the worst of hours,
among a revolving balance of mist and ghosts?
I was freshly naive. I was twenty one.
©2012 Jessica Stephenson All Rights Reserved