Is This What It Comes to at the End

by Claire Scott

Love unsteady on its feet
lurching leftward
lingering for balance
one hand on the scarred oak table
where four kids scratched their names
the other hand on a wall with hatch marks
tracking grandkid’s growth
some cheated, stood on tiptoes
wanting to be tallest
and here we are two perfectly civilized
old people screaming like banshees
I yell you can barely see the garage
need to surrender your keys
sell the Prius before you kill someone
you shout I am too controlling
only two minor accidents, fender benders
that could happen to anyone
claws of anger rake through our marriage
blood low-lying for years bursts through
geysers of resentment, of bitterness, of betrayal
blood no smudge of sage or Clorox can cleanse
only the two of us
focused on the future of a dented Prius
unsure why we are arguing
as though our lives
depended on it