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34. Night Time Fog

"I'm not crying," she said.
Her back was to him,
almost lost in the fading sunlight.
It was a statement.
Spoken as matter-of-factly
as when she had said,
"I'm leaving you."
(She didn't.)

This time those were his words.
He was leaving her,
like a tightrope walker
on the idea of staying --
falling either way would be bad.
But leaving was something "they" always did, not him.
He thought he was only doing it
to beat her to the punch.

She had put the idea in his head
when she had come back
from not leaving.
The idea had said,
"Don't be here when she goes.
Next time, she might not return."

So he told her,
"I'm leaving."
She didn't believe him,
so he shoved her away.
Pretty hard.

Some psycho-analyst might say
he was trying to shove away
some deep insecurity of his own,
that the aggression he was exhibiting toward her
was actually aggression he was feeling toward himself --
some internal conflict, struggle,
that he could not resolve
and, thus, had to act out against those he loved.

Itís good heís not seeing a psycho-analyst.

They were on the porch
and night time fog
had come in off the lake
when she said,
"I'm not crying."

"Neither am I."
(That's what he said.)

Which brings us to now
where it is midnight
and he is reading the back of a postcard
with a picture of the beach
and a cartoon sun saying

Welcome to Florida

and in her delicate hand
she has written,
"Missing you wasn't half as hard
as I thought it would be."

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