Dust on the dash,
windows up as we roll through
back roads, radio on static.
I will never leave you –
in my head, not on my tongue –
as mile markers disappear
into a cool sunset.
That flight to Chicago –
you walked me right up
to the gate, pre-9/11 style –
the night we danced because
we were too tired to fight anymore –
each memory an eternal slide,
a scroll through the years on autopilot.
We stop at the next rest area,
sit in the car as the sun bakes
the day, your hand tracing the dent
in the dash we never bothered
to fix – just like us, still here –
breathing that Oklahoma dust
we could never shake off, even on
days we drove as far as we could
on a tank close to empty and
Cathy Porter’s poetry has appeared in Plainsongs, Chaffin Journal, Homestead Review, Kentucky Review (RIP), California Quarterly, Green Hills Literary Lantern, and various other journals. She has two chapbooks available from Finishing Line Press. Her latest chapbook, Exit Songs, was published in 2016 from Dancing Girl Press. She is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and is currently working on a full-length poetry collection. She lives in Omaha, NE.