Hollywood Ending

I regret not saying everything I could, everything I thought,
to my children, and thinking that was somehow protecting
them.  That the world doesnít care what happens to you,
thatís one thing, and I said that, but it didnít come out the
way I meant it.  What I said was ďsure is cold this morning,Ē
how we keep kind of thinking thereís a plan or an aesthetic
rightness to things, if we can only find it or work at it or
dream it hard enough, as I said ďmaybe later we can go
look at the Christmas lights.Ē  The shoreís nowhere
to be seen.  Iíve no idea what Iím standing on.  It looked
like the shore.  I could even make out the brush and tree line,
but as I look behind me now, driving home, itís all
the same water, and I meant to say that, and I meant it
as a question, but it came out more like ďhere, grab on
to this rope and Iíll pull you.Ē  Itís always high school,
all the things youíre in, that youíre ever in, but that also means
it will be over soon, that it, whatever it is, will grow
more distant, like that lake we went to last summer,
or that town you used to live in, but havenít for years,
and you remember one afternoon for no reason how
frightened you were of that crossing guard youíd see
most days, maybe for no good reason, and maybe
for very good reasons.  If you could only know.  I want
to say these things are out there in the world together,
but all I can think of is this recurring dream where
I suddenly remember I have several cats in the basement
Iíve not thought of in weeks and now Iím afraid to look.


John Gallaher also appears in inter|rupture 16.