The Passenger Seat

by Alanna Duffield

I imagine you still drive down the same roads now and again?
The ones with all those blind corners that made me
sit with my spine pressed to the seat.

There’s never anything to see in the mirrors but you look anyway.
Which one of us are you looking for?
There’s no one reflected in the backseat anymore,
no soft laughter or fingers scratching your neck through the headrest.
We all could have died.

When I haunt your car now, where am I?
I think maybe the passenger seat,
leaning forward to change the music—just a shape in the dark
illuminated periodically by the lights.

Remember I made you pull over and buy me cherries once,
and I ate them on the way home
spitting all the fleshy stones into my hand?

A spectre still lives there now, in that same seat.
While your eyes are on the road you don’t notice
that she’s planted every cherry pip in your body,
and before you can stop it, you can’t see for leaves.

Like driving on the wrong side of the road
and finding that the gear stick is suddenly on the opposite side,
sometimes you reach for a thigh that isn’t there anymore.   

Alanna Duffield is a London-based creative writer and professional copywriter with a MA and BA Hons in English and American literature. Inspired by the Sussex countryside where she grew up, Alanna’s writing frequently explores themes of nature, womanhood, grief and sex. Her writing has been published in Dear Damsels, Candiid Magazine and House of Revolution.

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