Whisper, He's Driving
Lana Hechtman Ayers

A gray chamois shawl enwraps the morning sky.
She's thinking of what her grandma used to say 
whenever it rained like this, 
"It's a good day to be a fish," and she smiles.
For a moment, she studies him, his hands, knuckled 

to the steering wheel, then closes her eyes. The downpour 
against the windshield, sounds something like November 
leaves crushed underfoot, like oil spattering from a pan, 
but reminds her most of the clatter 
of her string of cobalt glass beads, 

broken, scattering across the oaken floor,
last night, when he hit her but didn't mean to,
his hand a blunt board,
his ring snaring the clasp, tearing 
the whole thing from her throat.

This weather shushes her heart, that she imagines 
glows with smudgy incandescence inside her chest, 
much like the blurred necklace of halted taillights ahead.
"Could a person drown in all this rain?"
she wonders aloud, but softly, 

whisper, he's driving.
Around the shoulders of the highway, 
she notices that all the maple trees are bare but one, 
still clutching its clusters of leaves like yellow bouquets,
like roses one offers in sympathy.

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