Road Poem

Snow like delicate arrows outside
and you are leaving the sunshine state.
A long voyage North.

I wonder
what do you keep in your car?

Gas station snacks in the passenger seat,
road trip detritus. Half-drunk thermoses
in every cupholder: water, coffee,
something sweet/effervescent at mile 409.

I similarly prepare for my voyage:
through the driving ice, to the post office.
I call out of work but keep my ear to the wind,
tuning in to catch the hush, a gentle break:
enough time to suit up and find an envelope
wide enough to hold my heart.

We are always on our way towards each other when the storm hits.

This time, I stack flannel on flannel.
Zip your letter in my coat.
I dig my heels into crisp ice.
I’ve salted the road for you.

Katie Kay Chelena (she/her) is a theater artist, educator, and writer originally from the mountains of North Carolina / currently in Brooklyn, NY. She is a member of the experimental theater collective the New York Neo-Futurists. She is the theater instructor at NC Governor’s School West. Katie is currently earning her MA in Arts Politics at NYU.

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