Henrietta Goodman

This Is How You Can Tell

If a girl ever drives three hours alone to a bar where she’s too young to buy beer,


if she stands in the back in red lipstick watching the black, hammer-struck moon of your thumb as you play guitar,


if she follows you home along a two-lane road over dead snakes and possum, past kudzu-covered trees rearing up through the fog,


if you pull over where the road splits and she pulls over behind you and you sit in her car drinking coffee from a thermos while Muddy Waters sings I’m a man, a full grown man,


if you thump the side of her car twice with the palm of your hand before you go, a band of bluish light
already spreading in the sky behind you—


she loves you, I promise, though I know she hasn’t said so.