Seattle Washington the Stratosphere
Photograph taken by Jessica Jakstas

The day you packed your life into your boyfriend’s Jeep
and started out for Vermont
was not the day you left New York City behind.
The sustained view of the Adirondacks from your bedroom window
would not allow it. The faint A-train rumble
would reach you across a hundred waters,
murmuring over your dreams.
You didn’t know where to be.

The Grackle’s song in Austin felt more foreign to your ears
than the forest does to the city.
You soon learned that you could only identify yourself
in longing. That somehow the body you had waited
five years for, sleeping next to you now,
was a ghost of everything that existed without him.
That in the crossroads of “all or nothing,”
you could no longer distinguish between the choices.

But you kept driving anyway,
and as the mesas of Texas
became the mountains of New Mexico, you too were forced
over the peak of your anguish. As you let your wheels
take you further down, down
into the liquid heat of the desert,
the banalities of constant, comforting friendship,
the cooling love of hands that guided you
disappeared behind the firm and stable rock.
And you moved forward led only by your whims.

The bathwater of Truth or Consequences
engulfed you in a state of blue,
blue that followed you to Arizona.
Blue that poured from your voice on top of a Camel’s Back.
Blue the target you shot your first bullet into.
Blue the thousand miles you’ll spend flanking the Pacific on your way Seattle.
Blue the asphalt five planes carrying five friends secretly touch down on
before you make your way into each of their arms.
And as they all depart a weekend later,
you feel okay in knowing that everywhere you go,
you are nowhere.


One thought on “Somewhere|Nowhere

  1. Enchanting beyond belief! We’ve visited or lived in most of these places, and this poem will serve as a delightful diary of our life before old age encroached upon our dreams. Thank you sooo much!


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