Wherever You Go, I Hope You Think of That Time

raking leaves together late in September
while the neighborhood kids play-screamed,
our dog diving in piles of various dead maroon

& gold foliage. I hope you think of the birds
packing all their belongings for the winter. How
I said that I, too, wished we could pick up

and leave every season. Just imagine, I said, when
our friends and family come to visit, and after
knocking on our door with no answer, they

say, “oh! That’s right! It’s winter. They won’t be back
‘til Spring
.” I hope you think of washing the laundry,
how we’d take turns folding and putting away.

How when you woke earlier than me, you fed the cats
and dog. And when I was running late for work, you’d
wait by the door to hand me my coat and keys. Wherever

you go, I hope you think of that time of how beautiful
you looked when I was stressed. How calmly you kissed
my face as I ran out the door. How you waved from

the front step, watching our car back out of the driveway,
coffee in hand.


The Summer I Cried in the Target Parking Lot

After taking a pregnancy test in the women’s
bathroom, I cried in the Target parking lot
until every car was gone except for mine.

You asked how I felt, and I said like a bee,
swollen with too much nectar. Like a volcano,
ready to erupt and decimate a city, scorching

everything into dirt & ash. I said like a river,
breaching the banks and flooding my own
home, knowing everyone is still inside.


Love Is a Lot Like a Hot Air Balloon

Say we never went to the Dairy
Queen, licked an ice cream cone

on the concrete bench outside
on a hot summer afternoon.

Say you never loved the way
I watched you watch a movie.

Say we go back in time, unmeet
ourselves and save everyone

all the trouble we cause later;
the house, the park, the ski

trip, your dad having to buy
you a new car. And let us say

that we never meant it, any
of it. We could take back all

the words we said: window, parallel,
forever, some more. Love

is a lot like a hot air balloon–
there is either not enough

to hold us, or so much
that it carries us away.


Andrea Lawler is a poet, essayist, and short story writer. She holds a degree in English Language & Literature. When not reading or writing, you can find her at the local coffee shop. She lives in North Dakota with her three cats.