The Second to the Last Time

By on Feb 12, 2018 in Poetry

Hand waving good-bye, with embers

when the moon was full and I wore my navy silk pants / and my car got stuck in your driveway and I read poems on your rug naked / the space heater warming my ass / and you said I was a cat in another life and I laughed because I knew I was really a dog / willing to be kicked and come back for more / and after the sex and the sounds we walked the mountain roads / snow and silence / it’s easy to feel alone when you’re holding someone’s hand / we walked fast because our legs were cold / and I remembered a movie scene of a woman leaning over a railing to wave goodbye to her lover / I wondered if I’d wave when you left / but I stood in the airport and watched you walk away / then I drove home and drank tequila mixed with almond milk  because I was vegan and didn’t want to cheat / I kept expecting you to call and say you’d changed your mind but the phone didn’t ring and I didn’t stop drinking / and the next night I burned those silk pants and peed over the embers / and when you finally called months later I didn’t pick up / I left your voice all alone on my phone / I listen to it nights when I can’t sleep / your voice all alone against my / mouth.


Cinthia Ritchie is an Alaska writer and ultra-runner who spends a ridiculous amount of time running mountain trails with a dog named Seriously. She spends her nights agonizing over writing while munching on the homemade biscuits she makes for the dog. Find her work at New York Times Magazine, Rattle, Evening Street Review, Clementine Unbound, Into the Void, Theories of HER anthology, Lost Women anthology, Barking Sycamores, GNU Journal, Deaf Poets Society, with upcoming work in Nasty Women: An Anthology of Subversive Verse.