This trip makes your heart hurt, not that old slow ache, echoes of tires on wet pavement through an underpass, but palpable palpitation, crazed clock ticking sideways through time. A beam swings up a hill, makes sculpture of the clouds carve out the road bulky solid. Things you pass at the side but don’t see properly-stark black weeds and fences, trees and sheds and houses beyond the moving tunnel and the light burrows, signs and neon lights, and your eyes burn dry when you’re this tired and the heater blows its weary breath.
You want to live forever with your family in the space within the passageway carved by light.
The moon a knowing blood orange hovers on the horizon, takes light doesn’t give it. Pulls you on with the same grave carelessness she pulls the oceans. So cold in your warm car you feel the greedy night put its mouth to the windows watching the tousled teenagers curled like cats in the backseat, their mingled breath milkwarm from the singing and gossip, now hushed as you hurtle through the night, moon-mad with memories. You want to crawl inside their pearly skin, peer through their eyes at the world and the moonlight on it.
(update provided in 2022) Frances Boyle’s most recent book is Openwork and Limestone, forthcoming fall 2022 with Frontenac House. In addition to two earlier collections of poetry and several chapbooks, she is also the author of Tower, a novella (Fish Gotta Swim Editions, 2018) and Seeking Shade, short stories (The Porcupine’s Quill, 2020), which was a finalist for the Danuta Gleed and ReLit Awards, and won The Miramichi Reader’s Very Best! Award for story collections. Frances’s writing has been nominated for Best of the Net and a Pushcart Prize and selected for the Best Canadian Poetry series and for “Poem in Your Pocket Day”. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Blackbird, Paris Lit Up, Resurrection Magazine and The New Quarterly. For more, visit www.franceboyle.com and follow @francesboyle19 on Twitter and Instagram.