Fall/Winter 2015-2016

Floyd Salas


I believe
she had been drinking
Wouldn’t look me in the eyes
up close
Wouldn’t look at my hurt hand
and dragged her hurt leg
back with her
two or three steps
to get further away
from me

There was a past between us
bigger than we were
though unseen
it stood there
like a fat man
six feet tall
as we turned
so that we
could only catch glimpses
of each other

She preferred it that way
She was safer
with that space between us
That way
the lines around her eyes
blurred out
only the hollows
still held shadow

What we hadn’t done
was bigger
than what we had
No lost love hurt
like skin torn
and still raw
it was the untouched bodies
that covered themselves
to keep in
the ache
and turned
to keep from facing
I kissed her at the door
and she patted my back
and called me a dear boy
though she’s only slightly older
I didn’t feel like one
when I walked down the steps
She was hurt up there
but she didn’t want me
to stare at her leg
that puffy red bag
at her knee
She had said once
her legs were too thin
Some time
we should have really met
not just passed each other
turning each other
in circles
like leaves in a stream
with a current
always between us
We should have known each other
for her to want
to show me
her knee
what hurt
so I could hurt
with her

Floyd Salas is a critically-acclaimed, award-winning author of five novels, a memoir and two volumes of poetry. His novel, Tattoo the Wicked Cross, earned a place on the San Francisco Chronicle's Western 100 List of Best 20th-Century Fiction. Tattoo and Buffalo Nickel are featured in Masterpieces of Hispanic Literature. www.floydsalas.com



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