JodiAnn Stevenson

 

The Best Expectations

Sometimes you know someone is going to die.

Although the pink cake with the birthday candles although the baby onions we bought for the gimlets or gibsons, we couldnít remember, although the all-night telephone calls although the vigil. Sometimes someone is going to die.

Although the empty martini glass beside the empty wine glass stained with pink lipstick beside the napkin you bent with your jittery fingers someone is going to die.

And sometimes you know someone is going to die. Although the song we sang in the convertible at sixteen, thighs and chest all sticky-flame although the confession although the plane to Bermuda although the single hotel room although the manic depression although the lithium. You know.

Although the new hair color although the phone booth although the shaking hands although the wife who will hold the shoulders while the body wretches although the daughter who has escaped to the west coast although the car that needs repair. You know.

Although they taught you how to swim although they taught you how to change the oil in your first Ford Escort although they sang you to sleep in front of the fire although they stayed up late to talk about film and whether or not anyone was really happy.

Although the Beatles records in their original sleeves although the friends who are tired of rescuing you although the bank tellerís blank face.

Although the vodka bottles stashed in the trash cans in the garage although the thirtieth birthday although the best expectations. Sometimes you know.

Someone is going to die despite how vacantly the belly ignores the despair it should be feeling. Although dancing under a mirrored saddle in a cowboy bar on New Yearís Eve although the Fulbright to India although the investments although the skinny-dipping although the shiver.

Although the train ride home although the cats although the television sitcoms. Although the heartís jagged teeth are hording memories like chocolates. Sometimes, someone you know, is going to die.