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Rhiannon Wilson - Peripeteia

It would have been better if I’d let you drive. You were always the one more prone to travel sickness, more susceptible to restlessness, legs bouncing and fingers tapping. Maybe if I had let you drive you wouldn’t have got so frustrated at the endless road, maybe if I had let you drive we would not have fought, harsh words cutting through the thick evening air. Too humid.

That was the problem, not the years of slow-building resentment or the tense silences, it was the humidity. Thick heat that smothered us. It did no good to roll down the windows, the air conditioning was little help. We just had to sit in it. Sit in the car and put up with each other, me resenting your silence and you resenting the claim I’d made on the driver’s seat. I think maybe you just said it because you were bored. Because there was still so much road ahead of us and we had already run out of things to say.

It worked. We were not bored. I spent the first twenty minutes listing all the reasons we were good for each other. All the times we’d made each other laugh, all the things we’d been through together, all the times we’d been there for each other when no one else was.

We had just passed the sign for your hometown when I got tired of the smug look on your face, got tired of you firing back lazy counter-arguments for every reason I gave I was right for you. Fuck you and your smugness. Fuck you for making me beg for your love when you had already decided you’d had enough of giving it.

Here: let me pour out

all my unspoken wrath.

Look at the endless, empty,

desolate road ahead of us

and listen as I list

all the reasons our hearts

are just as empty.

Edited by Devi Sastry (@devisastry)


RHIANNON WILLSON is a queer poet writing mostly about the people she loves. She spends her spare time playing scrabble with old ladies and trying to learn how to rollerskate. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Dreams Walking, Royal Rose and The Honest Ulsterman, among others. She can be found on twitter @rhiannonwillson or through her website,

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