Love, Backwards

by Francine Witte

At the end of it, he left me. Romeo left me. A pair of taillight eyes staring as he drove off into the night. This would never happen with a Hank. A Hank would never promise forever like Romeo did, his words curly and warm in my ear.

At the middle of it, I was pleading with Romeo. Red claw words all over his throat. I was saying things like give me back my heart even though you used it up and kept me from all sorts of Hanks. I said I never meant to get in deep like this, but it was all that stupid moon and lilac breeze, and me thinking this was just a stub of my heart, a bruise I thought would pass.

At the beginning of it, it was a silky night in June.

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Francine Witte’s poetry and fiction have appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, Wigleaf, Mid-American Review, Passages North, and many others. Her latest books are Dressed All Wrong for This (Blue Light Press), The Way of the Wind (AdHoc fiction), and (The Theory of Flesh). Her chapbook, The Cake, The Smoke, The Moon (flash fiction) will be published by ELJ September, 2021. She lives in NYC.

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