I'll Try to Tell You What I Know
Sometimes it's so hot the thistle bends to the morning dew and the limbs of trees seem so weighted they won't hold up moss anymore. The women sit and swell with the backwash of old family pain and won't leave the house to walk across the neighbor's yard. One man takes up a shotgun over the shit hosed from a pen of dogs. One boy takes a fist of rings and slams the face of a kid throwing shells at his car. That shiny car is all the love his father has to give. And his mother cooks the best shrimp étouffée and every day smokes three packs down to their mustard-colored ends. One night the finest woman I ever knew pulled a cocktail waitress by the hair out of the backseat of her husband's new Eldorado Cadillac and knocked her down between the cars at the Queen Bee Lounge. She drove the man slumped and snoring with his hand in his pants home and not a word was said. I'll try to tell you what I know about people who love each other and the fear of losing that cuts a path as wide as a tropical storm through the marsh and gets closer each year to falling at the foot of your door.
From Côte Blanche by Martha Serpas. Copyright © 2002 by Martha Serpas. Reprinted by permission of New Issues Press. All rights reserved.