Andrea Carter

The Other Abandoning

To capture on film, the woman
who is driving is me. There

is my passenger, a woman who I don’t want
            to be talking to— rocks will chip
            the windshield, the yellow summer

will start to burn at the edges, like
an old film, the car will stop moving,

but the road dives into the clouds—
              I stop the car in her driveway,               
              her fixer upper house, the koi gone

from their frozen pond, mulch rotting
outside the car windows. What I

didn’t want to tell her flies out          
of my mouth— an old osprey, orange-
           puckered eye, webbed gray feet, over-
           plumage matted. I will not be able

to swallow the bird back down. I will
say I can’t leave him, the man I have to
           leave, and she says she will do whatever
           I want. We cry because we will never

be the friends we are right now. I see
her years later, and she will tell me
             it is too hard for anyone to really know
             her, even I do not know her, even

after I felt I could trust her with all
of that overexposed film, sad documentary

             of my life. Everything flickers away
              in her art house, that is empty now—

there are no summers or clouds
or roads, only silent films no one watches.