RUSH HOUR CONVERSATION ON I-80
It isn’t even enough to discover who we are. We have to invent ourselves.
- Rosario Castellanos, The Eternal Feminine
On my cell phone, a friend who can not bear children
speaks of the loss
before the ever-having.
Black power lines cross a pink sky. Traffic crawls past the darkening wetland.
Years of cramps and blood merely cover for spider webs of
fibers spreading within.
Brake/gas/brake Left foot clutch Look!
at the broken walls of that concrete building -
a filmstrip of sunset in the abandoned window squares,
scenes in a movie I am driving.
in coffee shops, miniaturized adults standing on tabletops
reaching for birthday balloons, their infatuated mothers,
Middle-aged fat on my belly creates a placebo effect.
A great blue heron wings over the highway,
its heavy neck hanging like the unending knot of my own childless inquiry.
Pink deepens the wetlands, water shining.
I believed if I allowed my heart to lead me by the hand,
that my body wouldn’t age before I did,
that I could trust the places my heart delivered me.
Brake Honk! Turn down the radio, you need a headset, she tells me.
I want to ask, How far can one travel accidentally, before starting over is impossible?
We say goodbye. All I can do is keep on driving.
I turn on the headlights.
Karen Terrey holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She is the poetry editor for Quay, a literary arts journal, and balances her time between teaching creative writing and teaching skiing in North Lake Tahoe. Her poems can be read in Moonshine Ink, Poet’s Espresso, Sierra Nevada Review, Autumn Sky Poetry, Concelebratory Shoehorn Review, and elsewhere.