Most warm nights our first year married I played songs for Kendra in the front yard.
Barefoot, we sat in lawn chairs, the cutlery of untended grass scraping our toes and the tops of our feet. She would tuck her legs under her, braid magnificent loops of such long, clean hair into twists, swinging my song out into the hot dark.
Then she started dancing some in the living room and drinking some in the kitchen, at the sink. I always found small clues, the clumsy splotches of light brown stains on the kitchen table, an old memory scent of sour mash.
She kept a fifth of Jim Beam in a cubbyhole behind the exhaust pipe above the stove and ate mustard greens and onions and sauerkraut to cover her breath.
Everything became bitter and gray. Everything became loud. Everything became, "It's always some kind of shit with you."
Time passed, as it will, slowly, painfully. More dancing and drinking and then some getting home at 2 a.m., Kendra falling from the passenger door of cars and trucks I'd never seen before.
Last night, it was a full-sized Ford F250, fire engine red with glass packs.
I met her in the living room and steadied the swaying with a hand on her hip. I kissed her mustard green mouth and held her hair between my fingers, twisted it into a loop that might have been rope just strong enough to hang myself.
Everything became that moment. Everything became silent. Everything became.
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