March 16, 2021
I am going to start this final
poem in the worst way.
I’m going to tell you that this year has
been impossible. That I cannot write
what I cannot remember. So instead,
I’m going to make a catalogue of images
paired with feelings or maybe a catalogue
of words paired with meaning.
My car is not a vehicle because it has
not taken me anywhere this past year
my car is more accurately a movable room
built for crying. For parking in the lot
of your closest fast food restaurant, you know
the one with the neon lights where you find
moments of comfort. The one with all the other
mothers holding on to the warmth of a french fry.
We’ve all been there
that moment of lucid aloneness
where the only song on the radio is
yourself. And let me be honest J, most days
I want that moment in the parking lot so I can look
at my children on my phone. In this picture
my older child is smiling with his eyes,
his mouth covered with an image of Spiderman
he holds the hand of his baby brother, now
almost a toddler, unmasked, new teeth on display.
Their great grandmother in the same picture
behind a screen, wearing the same cerulean
sweater she wore on her flight from the Soviet Union
all those years ago. Exiting the plane
terrified of a new world and yet moving
toward my mother’s open arms,
dropping her papers,
her suitcase, her fur hat,
every physical thing she had carried
on the floor, everything gone for a moment,
for this moment of touch.
about the author