Interlude at a Closed Chevron, 11:42 pm – Alicja Zapalska

                                  -for Cristina

We watch the fluorescents almost green
across the gas pump, admitting
with relief to each other
we are not yet good enough or worthy
or able to handle the body-drum of our desires,
wanting and wanting with a gasp
in our throats. You have to be kind
to yourself, you tell me, as the gas meter
ticks upwards. One day
you might not make it back.
I did not tell you this part: when you spoke
something settled inside me
as if your own hand had guided
some misshapen humors to their home,
and when I left your doorstep
I was all tremble from your quiet understanding,
almost violent with relief.
Alicja Zapalska was born of Poland and raised in Texas. She writes poetry and studies film in Austin.