Soon by Yvonne Clarke

Turn off the tv, turn down the lights, turn in for the night. 

But not to sleep. 

Turn over. 

Turn up the volume of your fake orgasm. It’s what he expects. 

Go into the bathroom. Wash him out of you. Wash away the tears streaming down your face. Grab your mobile. Pray that he picks up. 

‘Frannie – you OK?’ 

‘Dan, I can’t do this any longer.’ 

‘Give me a minute.’ I know he’s moving out of earshot of his wife. 

‘I’ll tell her soon.’ 

‘When? When, Dan?’ 

‘Like I said. Soon.’ 

‘You haven’t got the guts.’ I throw the mobile across the room. 

His lies congeal like blood. Soon forms a scab, but it doesn’t hide the wound. Soon cannot heal your hurt. You shrug off your dressing gown, slip into jeans and a T-shirt, slip out of the house. The cold night air blasts you like a hit of cocaine that catches your breath and clarifies your confusion. 

The sky is an infinity of black pepper salted with stars. The full moon tonight seems a mere arms’ length. You reach out, wanting to pick it up and hold it tightly against your chest so that it can’t come and go as your lover does. Closing your eyes, you feel the sensation of his warm skin enveloping you like a blanket on a chilly night. 

Soon could be light years away, like the stars you can see shining yet are long dead. Soon may be in the next life, where spirits collide and send showers of cosmic dust into the void. Soon is a word without commitment, engendering a feeling of hope, a sense of anticipation. Or maybe a rejection. Soon is your lover waxing and waning, like the moon in its orbit. 

For you, soon has come and gone. 

Published in Issue #16

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