The 2River View 22.4 (Summer 2018)

Wendy Taylor Carlisle

How It Was

I tell you, he used to light me up.
We drove that road like it was a four lane.
We drove the four-lane like it was
a road to jubilation. That hard tarmac

paved our way to joy. But one day
I came awake and when he called,
my throat closed against his name.
“Wrong number,” I said, thinking,

what nonsense can stand in for love
now I see passion is only pain
by another name?  I’m half-convinced
amour could just as well be a fast car,

a BMW, a Porsche but I’d settle for a Fiat or a Kia,
any kind of car they don’t make here.


Maggie’s redneck husband was relentless
when he found the fat man’s letters
about Maggie’s thighs and breasts.
In evenings of ion and suspicion, the wind blew
the stars around over their valley
and the moon came up and shined the cattle
while the lake moved like a fish rodeo.
But when speaking of betrayal,
there is barely anything new to say,
nothing novel about infidelity,
nothing cutting edge about a blond hairstyle
which as we know, is nothing but
a wild sombrero, aglow above
your ordinary, carbon-based life.

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives and writes in the Ozarks. She is the author of two books and five chapbooks, most recently, They Went to the Beach to Play (LoCoFo Chaps, 2017). website

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