It was the one question I dreaded you asking. There were too many answers. What could I say?
I drove to the coast on roads writhing like black snakes, and thought of you.
I stood on the cliffs above the Pacific, watching the sun slip like a tarnished coin into the pocket of the horizon, and thought of distance.
I spent hours listening to the dark waves churn and crash below me, and thought of nothing.
I drove back to town and walked the sleeping streets, their silence a counterpoint to the confusion in my head.
I stood outside her home, gazing at windows like closed eyes, and thought about love: hers, yours, ours.
When the sky brightened like a bruise, I went to Starbucks and bought a coffee I couldn’t drink, and a paper I couldn’t read.
I forgot where I left the car, where I left you, where I left myself.
I came home.
Where were you last night? you asked as I stepped over the threshold. Just as I’d known you would.
And all I could answer was gone.
is the author of four picture books for children, as well as fiction, poetry, and
non-fiction for adults. Her recent work has appeared in California Quarterly,
KYSO Flash, I’ll Take This Word and Make It Mine, and Digging Our Poetic
Roots; has been performed by Off the Page Readers Theater; and has been nominated
for a Pushcart Prize. Lisa lives in Northern California.
At the Pacific Air Museum, a prose poem in KYSO Flash
(Issue 12, Summer 2019); nominated for The Best Small Fictions 2020