What was promised to me was miracle and sudden.  What was promised was my dead lover delivering snakes at the right time and a near death experience and a lake. When I saw it, I wouldn’t register it but rather react.  When I felt it, my whole body would tense up. When it was over, I would breathe deeply and contrite, my cold cement mausoleum skin cracking. Lips brimming over in verse, replete with a shuddering insecurity and effulgent missives to lovers, elegaic and hard yet softening  when I am touched a certain way. When I am gripped, rough, then dropped, let go, my hands reach out.  The letters begin. Or simply when I have too much time to think like in jail or in a long winding winter of solitude.
This. This is some miracle, and some portending force.  At the beginning of June this past summer, I drove home from Virginia after visiting my parent’s for a few days for my quarterly visit as is my habit. As is my habit now that my dad is dying, I should say.  The drive is six hours and I spend the majority of it thinking and speaking out loud, watching license plates, watching titles on my phone change when I can and checking numbers. The rock face smiling; cracking and spilling it all.
Camille asks, “What’s his name?”
What is his name?  I am still on the bridge, haven’t moved. The train has stopped. A man with no shirt jogs by me, side eyes me but with crave, not concern.
I am still one foot on the lake and one foot on the bank with three girls and their two dogs behind me. Somewhere my sister is tied to a tree, mouth taped shut and naive, drawn to a dare.
I am driving on the highway doing 80 miles an hour and working out last year with you, recalling the way the numbers had started to line up perfectly on each plate (finally) and ignoring the urge to check what three sevens mean, remembering it was first swords, then pentacles, then wands when the construction truck slowly pulled  in front of me. They were going only 45 miles an hour in the fast lane. Had I done any urge I wanted, acted out any compulsion: check what the sevens mean, check to see if in fact my tarot reading was in that order, check the time, the song, the rearview, I would have slammed squarely into them; neck bent. What I did was swerve, then breathe and as the woman careened into me from behind, fear returned. Immortaility. The dream of the alligator. The dream of the miracle. Umbrage left as I opened the door to step on the gravel; as I opened the door to investigate the crash, quickly, like a snakebite, breath washed over me.
“Are you ok?” I yelled.
Walking towards her car, I glanced to my left to find the dent, to assess what new hell this was and found nothing. Not a scratch.
“I’m ok. Are you ok?”
She stepped out slowly, looked shaken but unscathed, young, cute, maybe 26. I am good at gauging age. Long brown hair and a thick New Jersey accent.  She had been behind me for miles, probably going about 80 as well. Synchronized, I had thought to myself earlier.Two women, I found out, returning home after a trip home ignoring their phones and radios to swerve, to brake, to walk away breathing and not exchanging info.
“His name was (redacted).”
Umbrage took back over in the car but I didn’t stop to scold the construction truck. She advised me it was a waste of time. I asked. But I did roll down the window to scream “YOU COULD HAVE KILLED  US, MOTHERFUCKERS!” as I drove by them only a half mile further where they stopped, knowing it was a mouse squeak.
“They could have fucking killed us,” I repeated in the car.
“They should have fucking killed me,” I am walking now across the bridge.

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