One Night
Thomas Brush

It was the past calling him out, the two of them lying in a hammock
Suspended between transplanted black walnut trees, the only ones left.

And that night at the Factoria Drive-In in the front seat of her dad’s ’53 Hornet,
Their feet on the dashboard, no glasses, no ice, just handing the bottle back

And forth, watching the monster, before he bled out in the depths
Of the lagoon, try to save the beautiful girl from the stupidity of the tall,

Handsome hero. All that’s payback for the decades he doesn’t want    
To remember, and the scars on his face and wrists, knowing

He belonged for one night and forever, the taste of her
Tears, that salt that kept him alive. Years later, he sank

His boat at the foot of Madison, threw a handful of wet bills
On the bar, said “I’ll have one more. I’m just passing through.”

Thomas Brush has published in Poetry, Poetry Northwest, The North American Review, The Cimarron Review, Prairie Schooner, Tar Review Poetry, The Indiana Review and other magazines and anthologies. He has been awarded a NEA grant, two NEH grants, and fellowships from Artist Trust and the Washington State Arts Commission. His latest books, from Lynx House Press, include, God’s Laughter, 2018, Open Heart, 2015, and Last Night, winner of the Blue Lynx Prize, in 2012.

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