Quitting you was as easy as driving away. The first day
I drove four hours. Close enough to turn back,
I spread what remained on the stained floral
motel bedspread—thin and scratchy on my naked
thin legs. I touched beautiful flame to pearled white
rocks, inhaled your beautiful smoke, so much
like a train, like a storm wind through a screen before rain,
like the last four years belonged to me—
every moment held and held and held in my lungs,
a long, wet kiss, your tongue mint and ice on my tongue.
I scraped and scraped and scraped resin to gray rock and began again
and again. To black rock. Again. Nothing. I smoked my goodbye
all night in that Oregon motel room. Black mold corners,
damp carpet, and the cracked toilet seat. Close enough
to feel your voice in my teeth. Condensation had raised rings
on the brown nightstand. I could turn back.
I felt Mount Hood watch me, motel door open to chill my body,
my body couldn’t breathe from our distance, our breaking
the string between your chest and mine like some delicate
drooping white wildflower, not glowing but mute and startling,
like goldfields pretending to be sunflowers—
as I do—clustered, a crowd at a high school kegger
in a surprised field recovering from winter mud.
Like a prayer, I drove away the next morning empty handed,
the car seemed to float on the clear silence,
scotch bluebells carpeted the grass violet, raced
along the wild median, unnatural, tall and reaching.
Allison Blevins is a queer disabled writer and the author of Cataloguing Pain (YesYes Books, 2023), Handbook for the Newly Disabled, A Lyric Memoir (BlazeVox, 2022) and Slowly/Suddenly (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2021). She is also the author of four chapbooks. She is the Director of Small Harbor Publishing and the Executive Editor at the museum of americana. She lives in Minnesota with her spouse and three children. For more information, visit allisonblevins.com.