Friday, September 01, 2006

Parking Lots At Night #4: The Next Day

I wanted to drive Shelby directly
to an emergency room for her cuts
but she wouldn’t even consider it,
so I took her back to my apartment.

Shelby took a hot shower. I dried her.
The long, deep, jagged cuts on her shoulders
and the back of her legs were still bleeding.
I covered them with gauze and bandages.
We hardly talked. She curled up next to me
in my bed. We fell asleep instantly.

The next day we woke up sometime past noon.
I checked Shelby’s cuts. The bleeding had stopped.
After getting dressed and eating breakfast
we both came up with the same idea.

In the bright afternoon sunlight we drove
back to the parking lot. We didn’t leave
the car. We checked out things through the windows.

There were no blood stains on the black asphalt.
The fabric and string lingerie was not
along the curb were we had seen it last
and we didn’t find it anywhere else
the wind might have blown it. We returned home.

Shelby healed quickly but she still has scars.
They’re not shaped exactly like teeth marks and
they’re not shaped exactly like claw marks but
they’re shaped as if something fierce had bitten
and clawed her skin simultaneously.

And of course even after all this time
we always think twice about parking lots.

Early in the day, if the sun is bright,
if there’s a concrete sidewalk near a slot,
we’ll sometimes park in a lot. Only if
we’re damn sure we’ll be out before sundown.

We do not mess with parking lots at night.

We don’t even tempt whatever’s out there.
Whatever it is, whatever it wants,
it is out there in parking lots at night.

We do not mess with parking lots at night.

The End

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