Road Poem

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The summer I turned 18
we got in my car and drove
until the cornfields
turned to mountains and
the mountains turned
to coastline and the earth
dropped off into ocean.

We sat there on the
still-warm hood of my car
at the edge of the coastal highway,
tossing grey and black
and rusty pebbles
over the rail;
and we watched them
tumble down the embankment
as the plump-bodied
seagulls tore at them
like scraps of food
and hoped they
reached the tide.

The sky changed from
the blue of your eyes
to a hazy purple
to a deep, cavernous black;
and our eyes burned out
with the sun.

We listened to the horns of the
cruise ships returning home
and watched the lights
of waterside restaurants
sparkle on the glassy waves.
The way you remembered the
names of the constellations
even here on the West coast
where the world is at a slant
put me off balance,
and your eyes reflected Orion.

You reminded me of
Demeter in August
when she rips the corn
from their stalks and leaves
their milky scabs
uncovered.

There is something purely magical about traveling, exploring unknown areas, even if it’s just that part of the city you only look towards while driving by. With warmer weather coming I’m craving a road trip and I’ve taken the last week of the month off from work. We’ll pack up the car and head out to Oregon or Colorado or Arizona or wherever we decide. I need some mountains in my life and a sunset or two over the ocean.
What places do you want to run to?

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