Escaping Bad Reputations

As I snaked along winding highways,
evading landmines,
zooming down freeways through canyons
filled with endless opportunities,
I glanced briefly at the passenger seat
to see her beaming smile,
and then I returned my eyes to the future.
Mary jerked the wheel and drove me head over heels,
and my parents left, wrought with distrust.
“I wasn’t right for her,” Mom said.
“Write me when you can,” Mary’s mom said.
I hadn’t seen them since we faded from that small town.
We left with a bad reputation and the clothes
on our backs.
I lost sight of our affection along the way.
The places we’d pulled over for sex escaped
the words pushing through my teeth.
Mary’s heartbeat gave a breath to three words.
I love you.
But years had since passed,
sending me chills over the reels,
and cheap thrills that echoed
through our tears, reviving what love
was and what it meant as our parents stood at our wedding.

Twitter – @AC0040

(© 2023 AC)

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