Josh Rothenberger

On the way home from willowy Edinboro, PA
I spoke with the beaming blue sky,
The deathless road winding around the voluptuous mountains
And Maria.
I spoke with Maria, about when she had her wisdom teeth taken out, first kisses, our
favorite Will Oldham tunes, how our birthdays were exactly six months apart, and
the time her cousin raped her when she was only fourteen.
She said it in a "since we're good friends there is something I want to tell you"
sort of way.
It was an ambiguously sad story, one so personal it was pale and taut like the skin
that joined her hips
An hour later, pieces of the story were scattered all about the car, like chopped
parts of an illegitimate newborn
I remember her lips, they stretched and bled as she told me that her parents
"wouldn't have wanted to put up with the problem"
Why do you think that?
But I couldn't.
I just listened.
I just listened to the problem, the bloody pieces, that I didn't want to
put up with
Isn't this something you should tell your boyfriend, or your sister?
We tried to discuss other things (i.e. her rivalry with nature, with primary colors)
Sometimes I spoke . . . not so often
"The sky today," she said, "is perfect"
Maria pointed to statues that were preserved, time-honored in ice; and gardens that
were not trampled or ruined
Maybe, there will be a day, when I will have the strength to speak like a real man,
not a scattered man.
"Maria" I will say, "is perfect."

click to go to: