Three

After ten long years
and the apocalypse--
twice--
they make a date at Meggido
and finally add to the numbers
three
small
words.
He stutters and never
meets her eyes.
She stands by the door, and
plays with her keys.

So.

Now she's back in her little
blue car--all she's got--
on the road again thinking
the nightmares are dead
and she can sleep,
at long last, without drowning
in night or her tears on the pillow.
But the dark says,
'Hey baby I win'
and she wakes up screaming again
because she was sleeping with them, again,
and the only man who cares has probably
forgotten already, two hundred miles back.

Somewhere else he's forgetting
about her, of course,
because that's what she
expects him to do.

And he,
two hundred miles down nowhere lane--
her knight in shining armor--
goes back to his two jobs and one
dirty apartment (all empty)
thinking three was supposed
to keep the light in his life and off
of the freeway.
So he picks up the trash from his table while hope says
she'll come back, yeah,
and fear says
'fat chance of that, Jack.'
He hits the floor and
cracks open a can of beer instead
to stop thinking about her,
and does what daddy once did best.

Somewhere else she's thinking
about him, isn't she,
because isn't that what three
was supposed to do?

So.

She guns the engine 'til it burns, hand
white around the keys.
He swallows again to wipe her face
from his eyes.
After ten long years
and the Apocalypse--
thrice--
they left the ruins of Meggido
and stumbled instead to something
so
much
worse. . .

The same thing, again,
except for three

small

words.

2004