The last day’s in May
He swapped the car in Phoenix
with a screwdriver and a twist of spark,
used a wad of money
like a maxi-pad over a deep red bullet wound
that oozed pink saline every time he moved.
She was probably with someone else.
He had no right to be heading her way,
the cool desert air made him feel drowsy
as the Buick’s soft ride drifted from the road.
He could smell the creosote after rain,
a scent of home, a forgotten hiding place.
He picked all his words through the open window
and prepared to eat them like poison apples,
knowing he’d lost too much blood to explain.
The dust cloud settled outside her trailer,
the long stretching sound of the car horn
nudges her from a troubled sleep.
Maybe she’ll be a forgiving nurse
with alcohol and tweezers,
give him clean sheets and chicken soup.
Maybe she’ll tell him to fuck off
and regret watching the tail lights
the moment they shrink out of sight.
Maybe she will get in the car to hold his hand,
stay there to watch the night give way
under the pressure of a fresh morning
and say goodbye as she lifts the bag from the back seat.