It happened or it didn’t,
but the truth she had to offer us later
is that when he entered or left that house,
he forgot to take his soul.
He’d had it in his grasp earlier and then
crushed it into something
only fit to run the streets,
turned it inside out so it would do his bidding
as though he had no other resources
or ideas left.
It’s possible that sitting in the car
putting black gloves on that fit him like skin
and a tire iron at the ready
he wondered if there was something else he might do,
but it passed and they stepped out
he was knocking at the door
waited with hands at his sides
and she saw the man come out of a dark room
with cockiness a flimsy mask for fear.
And so that is when she wanted out
or told him to stop–
we’ll never know because she left out
the crucial part. It was not exactly quiet.
We were leaning against their old black car
smoking, watching some neighbors
carry groceries in.
One of us put on more lipstick,
a stolen neon coral,
and the other thought about lunch and fate
when he came down the front steps
with electric ease and a dynamite smile
took his gloves off and put them along with the iron
into the trunk, closed it with a bang.
The he made a small movement of his head,
which told her to get in.
So she did.
What he did we can’t say,
but we do know he crossed over
to another place.
We never saw his eyes the same after that;
they didn’t warm up
or even blink.
It’s been a year; almost Easter again.
We went to the Dollar Store for candy for our son.
Now we do other ordinary things.
But we light a candle for them every day.
If God knows where they are, He needs to fix that damage.
He needs to come right down and
shake out the mad mess like He did for us.
But who knows what can happen.
We have a few extra prayers if
you want one, too.