Through with that
She says she dumped him just like this,
her back upright in the chair. The chair
against her shoulder blades. The chair
wooden. Its arms wooden. Outside,
the door of the U-Haul pushed up, he watched
its mouth slam open with less noise
than one might expect. Her, silent
and in the chair and considering the long
drive now behind them. The car radio too loud.
The thss, thss, thss of tires and how
the wind pushed on the side, the left
side of the car and the road kept going.
When he appeared in their front doorway,
it was their new house together, their one big
owned thing, and he saw and her in the chair
and What, I asked her, What was he supposed to think
was just about to happen? She told him the ride in the car
made clear their lack of love. He told her the house
was already theirs. She doesn’t remember what else
he told her, just the sound of the ceiling fan
she had switched on in preparation. The heat on her face
and the moisture there, the color red and its going redder.
Him, probably still standing for lack of a chair, for lack
of any close object but her back against it, the old one
with its arms and her arms upon them. There was a cold
in his cheeks as they realized together, his skin white
and flattened. Just like this, she said, and I noticed it,
that lack of color that happens, when it happens.
About the Author: Kaitlyn Duling currently resides in Pittsburgh, where she manages the Storymobile program at Reading is FUNdamental Pittsburgh. She is a graduate of the Program in Creative Writing at Knox College, where she studied poetry. An Illinoisan at heart, Pushcart nominee, and winner of the Davenport Poetry Award, her poems have found homes in Denver Quarterly, Big Muddy, Ninth Letter, IDK Magazine, The Fourth River, Atlas and Alice, Catch Magazine, Wilde Magazine, and Naugatuck River Review.
Artwork: Deanna Crane