Months To Years Fall 2018 Months To Years Fall 2018 - Page 32

The Fall By Susan Bloch The man who is John puts his arm around the in a perfect V formation. They glide onto the grass and woman’s shoulders and pulls her toward him. He feed in a nearby pond where water gushes out of the drapes his arm across the park bench and his fingers mouths of babes from a bronze centerpiece fountain. caress another woman’s cheek. In the rose garden, few magenta and pale pink blooms remain. White airplane smoke streaks the clear sky, buses Betrayal. and cabs grumble in the distance, and the earth beneath my feet quivers as underground trains rattle through She, whoever she is, snuggles into his neck. Her blonde tunnels. curls flow down his chest. The man pushes his tweed cap—the one I gave him as an impulse gift a few These details of my surroundings fade as I dart toward months ago—back off his forehead. His hands are in the man who is John, my shoes crunching the brown, dry full view; I recognize the long fingers. I can almost feel leaves lying on the ground. Even my favorite scent from them sneaking up under my sweater and stroking my a cluster of nearby pine trees dissipates. All I can smell is breasts. I try to breathe but my throat is blocked. John’s familiar Ralph Lauren aftershave. For weeks I was convinced that he’d come back to me. And now, when I’d I recognize his tan moccasins with tassels. He crosses almost given up seeing him again, I find him. his right leg over his left, swinging it the way he does when he’s happy. They’re laughing but the laugh is A breeze blows into my face. Stray locks of hair fall out of not his laugh. John doesn’t chortle—his contagious my topknot and over my eyes. I tuck the greasy strands laugh rumbles up from his belly. behind my ears, wipe the oily residue onto the back of my jeans. John loved the scent of my jasmine shampoo; I In Regent’s Park, crimson, yellow, and golden oak wish I had washed and styled my hair before coming out. leaves shimmer in the frosty autumn sunshine. Geese, Nudging my glasses up onto the bridge of my nose, I pick preferring the English winter, fly back from Scotland up my pace. 32