On the gravel near the water he wants to yell things: tonight’s his best Brando, falls to his knees like Stella had walked across water to put her fingers in his skin. She doesn’t speak back is the way it’s written so the air stays still– the meaning of yelling into nothing– while I’m there for a surface. I let him act anything for me.

Later he tells me a story about the African preacher who wanted to show his congregates that Jesus had walked on water, prove that he could too. I’m in the car and his feet are in the water while he yells the story about faith to me through the windows. Through the glass the sound is the same as everything we say to each other. Disbelief is not flimsy.

It was mine every way (against muscles, heavy, a tightening) until he says to take it out and carry it. It’s how we take unreal things and make them take space, a thick distance between us. Ours, though. 

In the back of the car we have our legs across the seats and our backs against the doors. No more yelling: it’s his best Vivian Leigh, her mad eyes and mad voice. Deliberate cruelty is the one unforgivable thing. The laugh next is his laugh but part of the scene. We trade: the shape of forgiveness for the shape of remorse, like the preacher who meant to substantiate a miracle. In the end the water passed overhead and he never came back. 

Still, we think, things will become fair. It is evening. 

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