Hemingway’s Curse

Katrina K Guarascio

My mind creeps over you with the thin legs
of a moth. You are unmarked, intent on
your stare, the same seriousness all men
believe they have, but you…
You pull it off.

This is the night you cried on me;
do you remember?

You sob silent from the chair in your
living room, ask if you are doomed,
fated to stiff drink and solitude.
Ask if one day, you will hold barrel to
temple, as your father did and his
before. Ancestral curse shrouds shoulders.

I offer no answers
and you have run out of words.
As I rise to leave, you clutch my arm,
say, “don’t go.” And I stay.
Your eyes have a way of making me
stay.

This is not a novel; not a news reel in
black and white; not a story a thousand
times told. It is between you and me.
It’s a memory;
do you remember?

We are not lovers, only oddly shaped
friends, forever awkward with each other,
but there is something about that night,
the questions confided, the grip on my
arm, the tear running unabashedly down cheek,
that made me realize I am necessary.

“Hemingway’s Curse” is previously published in Catching Calliope Vol 4, 2014.