by Chad Parenteau

There’s always a way back

so long as the salt

thrown down as you left


leaves enough footprints

from those who swear

they didn’t throw you out,


no evidence

on the matchbook

by the seared scaffold.


Of course they meet you

right at the original

scene of judgment.

Better to proclaim

you haven’t changed at all,

say you still belong.


There’s some kind of noun

for you if you stay,

some kind of verb behind it.


Adjectives are muttered

just within earshot,

angry again.


Leave first, even if not told

by hosts with nothing to do,

but make sure you’re gone.