You casually mention the news

as I make to get out of the car. They

(the words, those feisty, physical things)

hold me back, looping their nets around my

already-sweaty palms.

"What?" I whisper, numb, uncomprehending.

Why would you bring something

like that up without having me sit down, first?

My thoughts gather in a line behind my tongue,

rudely jostling and cutting in front of each other.

"Yeah," you say and for the first time I

can see emotion in your eyes

(you're trying so hard to act unaffected).

A cold shock pierces my stomach and

I somehow hold those thoughts back behind

the dam of my teeth and lips.

"No more?" I finish, making sure.

"Never again," you reply and instead of crying,

I want to slap you.

Move on, then, I want to snarl. Move on, but remember,

you'll be leaving me behind, when you do.