they don’t make maps this big. we’re falling all over the sides, curling up in the edges. these are the transitory states, the in-between (breaths, secrets). this is california flat and oregon quiet. you always say it wrong, so it ends with “gone” and that’s what we are. i say it like “gun” and feel primed against a starting line, waiting for a pistol crack. stories slipped into semantics
these are ghost-towns and we are doing the haunting. rest stops are more for the cool press of soda cans against your inner wrist than closing your stinging eyes. in half-light you are sure the people there are flimsy at best, sure you could swipe your hand across them and leave tracks like on humid windows in rainstorms. the road is a graveyard. the woman at the picnic table winks in and out of sight like swallowed radio static. say a traveler’s prayer: let the road end and let me be on it when it does.
this is a hush that wraps around the trees, that sings when the trees can’t stand. i love you best in the watercolor paint of motel lights. i love you best in the colors of bruises: desert sunset purple, deep pool blue.
i miss late night thirty-minute informercials because you couldn’t fault them for their false cheer. i miss kissing you and tasting white noise. i fell asleep and you changed the channel.
i love you best while crossing broken white lines and hovering in the corners of vision. i love you best at the red mark, the “you are here.” here, where we do not exist.
Jadie Audrey is a soon-to-be New York City dweller and student at Barnard College. She believes in iced coffee for all weather, going to movies alone and claiming every airplane at night is an alien craft. Her first ever work was written in crayon for her third grade class poetry book; she has since cleaned up her act (but only marginally).