I slid that ring off reluctantly;
for the first time not because
I was getting ready to shower
but because it was not part of me.
You dropped your chip on the counter;
the chip you had kept for good luck.
Gambling is risky and
it was time to cash in.
The last night I saw my breath crying.
Your sister drove me to the airport and asked
When will you be coming back again?
I racked my brain to avoid the word never.
The cashier fanned out those bills,
said looks like you've had quite a day,
but I commend you for finally
calling it one when you know that it's time.
I pressed my forehead on the window
and a finger against the groove left behind,
letting it hug the depressed pale flesh,
Warm it, maybe summon it to rise again.
I heard the grooves of the tires hugging
chips of gravel and tossing battered remnants
at the curb. I smiled sadly and I
thought of how gravel seemed so made for rubber.
I'm not sure when I'll be coming back.