A List by Curtis Smith

I sat down to make a list of the reasons we no longer sleep together—but there’s no list, just the one thing neither of us want to talk about. Instead, I wrote down the mixtape songs we played those nights we parked along the river. Your father’s Ford, and outside, a dark deeper than any we knew in town, and folded into the dark, the churn of water, its push to the sea. Never Tear Us Apart and Faithfully and Crazy for You, but our cassettes are long gone, and our new car doesn’t even have a CD player. Our kids tell us anything we want to hear is at our fingertips, all we have to do is ask, but I can’t wrap my head around just pulling those voices from the ether. I need to hold something to make it real. That’s just the way I am.

Curtis Smith’s last novel, The Magpie’s Return, was named one of Kirkus Review’s Indie Picks of 2020. His next novel, The Lost and the Blind, will be released in September 2023.

a cassette tape

Photo by Stas Knop.

Share This