Driving at Night in the Rain

 

We find ourselves suddenly over open water. We think we are on a bridge. No, we think
we were on a bridge, but now aren’t sure, find ourselves singing word salad to stay
awake, to stay on course. We speak truths like, once you drink a full cup of gas station
black coffee, you can drink any coffee black. And you are dreaming of setting us free in
the wild, abandoning the truck and striking off in opposite directions. You are dreaming
of my death and a romantic notion of loss and coping and survival in an age of easy
living, in an age of every once in a while, a reminder of what danger could be—when the
butcher knife slices too fast into a chicken breast or the campfire pops up and out onto the
gravel near our feet or you find you’ve let the water boil all the way out of the pan. I am
on the lookout for moose in the roadway and you are on the lookout for the roadway. You
are dreaming of my death. I remember this again and swerve the truck back on track after
a stray tire. You are dreaming of my death and screaming at me to watch my speed. I
remember the $50 your boss gave you the day before we left for “emergencies,”
something a father would do, but neither of ours has done. Something a father would do,
right? You are dreaming of my death. I remember this again and pull into the opposing
lane of travel to distance us from the stalled car on the shoulder. I hear you yelling and I
am thinking God what kind of woman tells you she wants you dead, and you are yelling
you’ll kill us both.

Sarah Hulyk Maxwell 

Sarah Hulyk Maxwell lives in Pittsburgh with her two cats and husband. She works at a law firm where her MFA from Louisiana State University is practically worthless, but she’s pretty good-natured about it. Her most recent work can be found in Salamander and Up the Staircase Quarterly and is forthcoming in NANO Fiction and Red Paint Hill.