The Fight

They were outside, fighting.

It was well past dusk, but the country stars

lit up the night

enough for him to see bright tears streak down

her pale moon of a face,

enough for her to see the weight

of unspeakable remorse tightly held in his shoulders.

 

They were outside her house, fighting.

He ought to have been there for supper

with her family.

He said he would be there

then canceled, last minute. Base called, he said.

I have to leave, he said. She said okay

and squeezed him tightly in one more hug that said goodbye.

 

They were in the dark, fighting

because he didn’t leave like he said

he had to, choosing instead

to spend his scant time with another. He ditched

dinner with her family and he got caught –

they always get caught, what does it matter how?

Choices, like affection, cannot be unmade or unchosen.

 

He drove over to make it right, to apologize.

She cried.

She yelled at him,

though she never yelled at him,

and he listened without argument or excuses

which was for him a rarity, to listen quietly.

 

He may have cried too.

She forgave his flippant indiscretion

because it wasn’t in her to hold tight

to the anger and hurt that she felt.

Or to the love she had felt.

She let all of it go: anger, hurt, love,

but she forgave him

too, the letting go of love merely a consequence

of some remnant of logic left in her.

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