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I am going to hear my boot heels on those stone steps for lifetimes.
I am going to open my eyes and let the breath leave my body when he next says my name.
I am going to remember the lush green, the foxtails, the drift of wood smoke over the valley in late dusk.
I am going to think about the way he kissed me in the parking lot, full of regret and longing.
I am going to burn the old letters when I go back and let the hollow I’m sorry’s and the broken I love you’s lift like prayer songs that no longer make me cry.

I am going to remember him saying: Come home, girl. We all want to take care of you now.
I am going to sit with the knowing that once there was love here.
I am going to say thank you as I leave tonight, one boot heel for thank and the other boot heel for you while I think about him saying in the car: Thank you is your favorite prayer, darling.
I am going to pray with my body.

I am going to try to get her to laugh at least once every time I speak to her.
I am going to wish that I had burned everything, or that I had never left or that turning my head had not taken me away from everyone I loved, including myself, however briefly.
I am going to look at the sky when I forget why I came here.
I am going to remember her face as she stared at the bay on Saturday night just before dusk, my rental car full of the smell of her coffee, her face as seamless as the bottom of a bowl that had been shaped by a hand that had no memory of having ever been a fist.

I am going to lie in the darkness of a hotel room tonight and remind myself to ask God why she wanted me to be so alone when I next see her.
I am going to sing songs in the one voice that only he has heard.I am going to feel the feeling of that fabric in my left hand for a long time, the fluid weight of it, when she called me outside to listen to the birds above us.
I am going to wonder why he made it happen when he did not need to.
And I will remind myself to not ask him while I also think about the way he looked at me, how quiet his voice was, how he looked away and looked back again.
I am going to remind myself to breathe when I am breathless, to braid faith into my being when I am faithless and to look people in the eye when I am hopeless.

I am going to forgive her one last time.
And then I am going to finally forgive myself, too.
And then we will all be free.

© 2018 Dora E. McQuaid

All peace to each one of you today.  Dora

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