On the Road’s Shoulder
I’m sorry for the table scraps I give the dog when you’re not looking, how I scrape the meat sludge from your sauce plate into the dog bowl, how she laps it up because she knows it is deserved, the last of her ten years on this earth. I’m sorry for dimming the ceiling light you’ve just blazed on, for preferring the lamps my mother gave me that I nestle in the corners. I’m sorry for having turned my back to you so many nights, for having blamed the oppressive heat and tied the curtains back when you’d rather them closed. I’m sorry for having enjoyed all the breeze that came in through the windows while you snored into the hallway. I’m sorry, too, and I’ll say again and again, that I’m sorry for the glass of wine that turns into four and into five until I’ve sunken into someone who is not me. That I will make the “just jelly” sandwich for Sammy, who’s sweaty with afternoon sun and working toward hockey practice, instead of slathering peanut butter on one side. I’m sorry not all the meals I make contain a protein. And I’m sorry for the heels of my foot, scratchy against your calf at night. I’m sorry for so often saying yes to others that I have to say no to you. I’m sorry for forgiving myself for saying what I mean even though I’m not right, for dragging what you mean out of you like the entrails of a buck on the road’s shoulder.
Sarah Cedeño’s work is forthcoming or has appeared in The Journal, 2 Bridges, The Pinch, The Baltimore Review, New World Writing, The Rumpus, Hippocampus Magazine, Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. Sarah holds an MFA from Goddard College in Vermont. She lives in Brockport, NY, with her husband and two sons, and she teaches writing at the College at Brockport.