Beyond the End
After two years I returned to my children's life, a burning-eyed ghost in their imagination, given flesh as a broken woman of damp clothes and rain-deadened hair.
I surround myself with noise now; popping crackling radio, frying pans fizzing and bubbling, anguished buzzing of electric drills. In the silence, at night, the me that I can't escape whispers over beetroot fields, a fiery spark in my chest.
I miss her sometimes, body electric, falling head first into the future. She sings insistently inside of me, a temptress, an ogre.
Looking warily at the corners of my eyes, the children apprehensively watch for her return. Overwhelmed with guilt, I watch them twitch and murmur in sleep, clinging to each other like monkeys.
The me I am now cannot believe I ever left them. I relive the concussion of the storm, warm vinyl smell of heated car interior, the hot voices of argument. I see her, the gone me, steering the car toward the central reservation, the screams of my children slicing the air like sheet glass, the fingernails of their father raking her arms.
"If anything happened to them, I'd die, you'd say.
Crushed by knowledge, we continue beyond the unthinkable.