A Conversation in a Car on a Late Afternoon
I remember when we talked
in the car about your younger
son, my brother, and you asked
whether he was going this way
and you flipped your hand
in a manner that was familiar
to me but I still asked, "In what way?"
And you flipped your hand
even further at the side of your dyed
head, just behind your right ear.
you asked, vaguely, if I might
add, "Do you think he is,
you know?" then flipped your hand
once more and remained
silent. I remained silent too and
pretended I didn't know what
you were talking about.
(Even if in my dreams, I pretended
I was your younger son, my brother
and you were asking him about me.)
so we remained silent and I
waited for you to speak
again but you didn't so I glanced
at your perfectly manicured nails
and hummed this song that I
forgot and only remembered just then.
You asked, offhandedly, if I might
add, "What is that song?" as if
you just remembered to ask me to buy
milk for my brother when he was younger
or new color for you to dye your hair.
As if we were not talking about important
things before. As if there was nothing
important in what we were doing at all.
(But I knew it was important
for you to know whether my brother,
your son, was going this way or that.
But I didn't know what to say
or whether I should lie.)
And I said the title which I now
forgot. And you said it was a good
song and I nodded and we both looked
straight ahead until our eyes hurt
from the glare reflecting on my car's hood.
(I would have looked away
sooner if only I wasn't driving
and you weren't so adamant
on not looking at me.)