Day-Trip with Missing Binky

By J.J. STARR

I knew I should have told her / we’d been traveling a few hours
she hated the interstates / back routes took us through weird

towns / she liked the fields this way and up close
they come up with tassels swaying gold-beamed wind-socks / in their way

their green so bright you’d think / the whole field a fruit ripe
enough to bite into / and the clouds so perfect and numerous and floating

like a fleet of wish and cool whip / something for the angels to rest on
she would say / and mean it as the towns came upon us like unwrapped

trinkets with a single grocer / and at least one saloon
no matter the dry Sunday / the kind of places men hung

around smoking with one / inevitable woman weathered
as a mailbox / leaning into the side of the building

like she was shouldering it /drinking so deeply on her smoke
it made me thirst / and she’d be watching down the roads

would she lock my eyes / at least the one outside Patoka did
as we slowed into the station to fill up / I cleaned out the car

as my mother went in for two packs and a ten / on pump 4
I was hardly looking / tossed everything strewn at his feet

and later when she searched for it / she declared she must have left
it at home with the pictures / she’d meant to bring for my aunt

and the rest of the evening he gummed / the knuckles of our hands
as they smoked / together on the porch.

 

[Purchase Issue 18 here.]

J.J. Starr is a poet and writer based in Amherst, Massachusetts. She attended the New York University creative writing program, where she was a Veterans Writing Workshop Fellow. She has received support from Wesleyan University and the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. Her work can also be found in Drunken Boat, The Shallow Ends, Juked, and The Journal, among others.

Day-Trip with Missing Binky

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