I Keep Your Promise
Rain beats a riff on the back window
as I drive away from your familiar
promises, like lyrics of a worn-out song.
“Never again,” is made true this time,
my choice instead of your vow.
It’s only truth I take away with me:
torn buttons, bruises, broken dreams.
The empty baby carriage
you’ll find in the spare room,
one more unused space
in a house too rarely
I was the house
spread out in—
the rumpus room
battered with misuse—
filled with carry-out and cartons
with their “use by” dates all lapsed.
I was the melody
to that false chord
you loved to strike,
proud in your outlaw status—
that anchor that held your music to the page.
I see its strains floating after me,
as though that part of you
knows what it will miss
and even now
is trying to be found.
The prompt word today is riff.