When the rain stopped Adele walked to the window
and pressed her body against it,
her breath a small circle on the cold glass.
He sat with his long legs stretched out.
She thought he might at least light a cigarette,
or try to be witty, something from a movie -
"This feels all wrong," she said. "The iris need rain."
She curled her good fingers in her longish hair,
"Regrets?" he asked from the shadows.
"We agreed there shouldn't be any...you remember..."
Melvyn unlocked the door and set her paisley suitcase on the porch.
When the car taking her away drove around the white-rock road
to the highway,
the rain started up again, sluicing noisily through the rain gutters,
hiding the sheep
moving among the iris in the garden. The Basque shepherd smoked
in their garage, out of the rain.
When Melvyn sat long enough, he went to the kitchen to fill the blue bowl for the cat rubbing against him. He watched her lap the milk with the raspy little tongue he despised, cringing at the thought of it licking him, sanding away at his hand-and, shuddering, this time, he turned out the lights and went upstairs to bed. There were scripts to read, - - something unusual,
he hoped. Something of life.
Out on 101 lights winked on and off
as the Oatalina swell lifted fishing boats in the channel.
Smaller ones banged against the oil platforms.
Cousin Rose from Cincinnati talked about how it would be:
"Why not come home with me, hom...
just to get over it a little, you know...”
Adele watched Rose in the rearview mirror, her eyes in the middle
of the highway
disappearing behind them;
when they turned away from the coast into that great central valley holding back the biasing desert, she dosed...Rose with the window down...something about wild oats and cows, and a man in Louisville who owned a double-wide...
When Adele woke she smelled tlie river. It smelled wet.
She raised oil her good elbow in the back seat, her face
staring back from the dead fields
of Indiana. The trees looked blurry as they swept by.
"Adele, look there! Look up ahead!”
Adele bit her knuckles, lost in the past, afraid of tomorrow-or the next day-
and she wept a little there in the Datsun's back seat...
But Rose was singing now, lustily and off-key,
her shoulders hunched over the wheel (her car a silver sliver on the wet highway,
fvfelvyn would have said) , heading into the round white moon, soft and fat,
not unlike a huge light on the highway,
"Hold on, lion, we're goin through..."
Grabbing Adele' s good hand she raised it... them...both, her hand and Adele' s in
triumph and floored the Datsuft, singing!
And Adele, her eyes full of water, stuck her head far out the window to hear
the male chorus rising from beneath the bridge, echoing their sentiments,
urging them on! on!-ever on, deeper into Kentucky!