Page 22

Terminus Penn Stewart

In the plaza, we sit and talk. My eyes follow the diagonal lines formed by slate tiles as they cut across the order of the brick pavement. I follow the pattern like Magellan, hoping to return to the origin, but I keep getting lost, diverted. “You never listen,” she says. “What?” I ask, hoping for a smile. “See? You never take things seriously.” “I thought I didn’t listen.” “Don’t be such a jerk. You heard what I said but tried to make a joke out it instead of listening to me.” Her eyes latch onto mine. She does this when she’s really angry. I decide it’s best to shut up and listen, though perhaps I should speak. I should say how I love how her hair tickles my face when I hold her in bed, how the nape of her neck begs kisses, how her laugh triggers my smile, how her eyes see all of me, even the parts I try to lock away. “You just don’t care. Do you?” “I’m listening.” “Stop mocking me.” “Really.” “You do this all the time. I don’t know if I should take you seriously or not. If I do and you’re joking, I look like a fool. If I don’t and you’re earnest, I’m an ass. There’s just no winning with you.” She says I’m like a lock with tumblers that shift each time it’s used. A key might work once, but there’s no guarantee that it’ll work a second time. “I can change,” I say. “Exactly. That’s the problem.” We sit there and watch people traverse the plaza for a while. Young couples walk arm in arm, mothers push strollers with toddlers in tow, tourists mug for selfies in front of

14

Iron Horse Literary Review

IHLR 2018 PhotoFinish  
New
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement