Portrait with Unfinished Self-Incriminating Form

There's no seeming logic to  how a memory 
insinuates itself into the present, after having 
gone into hiding for more than two

decades. What set this one off? 
Perhaps, the sour linoleum smell 
of a lobby on a cloudy afternoon. Or 

the click of heels coming rapidly 
down a staircase as a door shuts 
at the end of a corridor.  

Perhaps, I can finally retrace
those steps to look at the woman
sitting in a nondescript office,

biting on the end of a Bic
ballpoint pen, considering the task
that the court psychologist 

has set before her: to write
the autobiography of a marriage
in which the woman admits

that its failure must have been
her failing. This is the only way,
she's told, she can have a chance

at annulment. The window, 
high up at the edge of the wall,
streaks like a windshield after rain. 

Carefully, she puts the blue cap back
on the pen, lays it down; collects 
her umbrella from the stand.

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