by Sylvie Bertrand

On the way back I drive
in silence and you sulk
on the passenger side, 
letting out a long, unruly
trail of cigarette smoke
out of the window I
asked you to crack open. 
Season’s over: our favorite
clam shack, closed down; 
the noon sun distant, its rays
forlorn, and the shore’s fog,
already sneaking in
behind our backs.
Déjà vu, I want to say, 
but instead I ask you,
are we going to break through
this, or are we just going
to get stuck here again? 
Why didn’t you take the shortcut?
you mumble in return, and already
I am stuck, unable to answer,
unable to tell you where, exactly, 
we got stuck again. 



Sylvie Bertrand is a writer living in Brooklyn. A native French speaker, she was born and grew up in Montreal. She was nominated for the 2017 PEN / Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers as well as for two Pushcart Prizes. One of her stories received a 2018 Pushcart Special Mention. She teaches memoir and creative writing at The Writers Studio in NYC and is the co-founding editor of Cagibi, a literary journal @