Under Perfect Conditions...

by Kristen Tsetsi


 If that were his car behind mine, if that yellow Renault with the loud muffler were his, and if we left the intersection on green and he flashed his brights at me and signaled me to pull over, I would. And if when I got out of my car and stood in the open door he got out of his own car and walked, not fast but not timidly, up to me and kissed me without asking, without waiting, if he kissed me with soft lips and strong arms and no apology on his tongue—if he did this—I could forgive his doing it.  If when he pulled his lips from mine he didn't say a word, and if he didn't try to explain or try to win me with bullshit, if he didn't smile and if he didn't tell me he was in love with me, and if he didn't ask to come over or for me to come over, if he didn't ask but just followed me home, I could let him follow.  And if he didn't drive too close, if his headlights didn't shine blindingly in my rearview mirror and if at every turn I would have to look to see if he were still there, I could slow down for him.  And if he didn't grab me in my doorway, if he didn't pretend we were in a movie where our clothes come off the minute we get in the door, if he didn't think this were a scene that would cut to socks and underwear on the floor, and if he touched my hair without a word, if he just stood there without even touching me at all, I could close the door behind him.  I would close the door behind him tonight.