had logo

March 30, 2022

Joy Ride

Michaela Jones

You & me in the night, bending. Your blue buick chasing fog & its promise of brief anonymity. We were still kids ruled by god & gender, on the precipice of their entropy. We drove across the city into the mouth of the forest highway, pulled over between the surprising dogwood trees & before our bodies did anything we cried because you were leaving for college on the other side of the country. Cops knocked on your foggy car window thinking we were smoking pot but we were just holding each other like we never would again. Instead of speaking, you bit my hands: a daguerreotype of intimacy for young me. Between our bodies, a sentient cartography formed in the back seat; terra incognita pulsing. The answer to my prayers entered there, desire I’d been taught as forbidden flowing me out of otherness into the eye of Becoming. We had no name for our shape, I almost heard it in your breath but the frequency was wobbly & the land of touch drumming. Our quiet conspiracies, archetypes missing, your formidable shadow, all while not knowing how: this, my youth, swollen & misplaced yet determined, defiant. We were all summer but the snow always reminds me of you: it covers everything, then one morning, it’s gone. I parked where we parked that night, the highway as silent as it had been when we liquefied under star shatter. You weren’t there, of course, but your fingertips, my back, your bite, my skin; that memory — a body — it lives.