We drove into the thick darkness on a backwoods nowhere road, and Sarah kept worrying about running out of gas while I kept the Jack Daniel's under the dashboard and talked about people who had hurt me.

Feeling picturesque and warm and brave. Funny how alcohol cheerfully enforces melancholy.

Sarah, do you remember?

We stopped in a little dark churchyard and collapsed on the grass. I felt dizzy and loose, and nodded while you told me about your tough love; your life full of subtle abuse that made me ashamed. Your quiet, sensible estimation of pain. Concealed in a shrug, the flick of a wet eye.

There was a cornfield in the distance, beyond the church graveyard. You stood up suddenly, and said you would be back in a minute, so I handed you the bottle for fortitude.

And watched you recede, picking your way gently over the dead. You stood waist high in the dark gold moonlit corn stalks and raised your arms above your head.

I can still picture your small figure and the rustling of the wind in the field...or were you laughing?

I wanted to run over and kiss you, breathless in that moment, but I had given up on women and I knew you wouldn't understand.

I wonder if you knew the force of that impression. It's so haphazard, what burns us beyond recognition, what leaves us untouched.