my sister took the passenger seat and we headed
east and north up the 395 stopping as minimally as possible.
The talk was non-existent except where it was strained.
I remembered road trips with my sister back in her teens and
early 20s when she was wanting to see the world
embrace it and find out so so much about it
when she had dreams and hopes and all those things
that are supposed to be ahead of you.
I tried not to think of hope with her in the car.
This is all your fault. You never should have ________________.
That blank could be anything, was anything.
I hadn’t hung out with her in seven years.
What was my fault anymore?
But it went deeper and longer than a 12-hour car ride
up 395 where the wind whips up to slate granite rock
and slides back down into your bones.
I wasn’t blaming myself for anything yet.
I was saving that for later.
Her eyes were wide and dead and gray
and her temper was on the edge of her seat.
She rocked back and forth–out of rhythm with the radio
but in time to her head.
Fuck you for trying to save me, she said.
and she was out of cigarettes and cash
and hated me.