Finger Trap

It almost feels normal
            or at least you could trick yourself
into thinking so –
                        each morning loosening

The valves
            On the espresso machine, the steam on the sidewalk
The long walk to the train station
            An endless monotony of work looming
                        Like a bad film score in your head.

Outside, the dead leaves cling
            Like warped cellophane to trees.

You tell me how the car horns went off
            On your street that morning
                        the highway bursts open and
I show up on your doorstep in tears.

Will they remember it too
            the children
                        bicycle helmets tossed carelessly on the lawn, streamers
iridescent in the wind, how everyone came outside
            And stayed there?

I didn’t think it would feel this good, you say,
                        But that night in the woods,
            the champagne of victory goes
flat in your cup
            And the lump in my throat gets bigger.

There is no forgetting; no going back
            Just an endless grasping towards
Something soft in the dark.

Stephanie Rogers is a content strategist and sometimes-writer. Her creative nonfiction and poetry have previously appeared in Empty House Press, Metatron Press, Thought Catalog, and The Great Smokies Review. She is passionate about sleep and top 40 music, and looks forward to one day publishing an essay collection that her friends will describe as “a little much.” She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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