Jenica Lodde

Grip the Miles

Let’s toast to vapidity and to stupid
determination, not the second-best
car in the lot, nothing close to a tribe on a party
bus speeding past the blurred lights. She’s the girl
you like for some reason, can’t put your finger on why
the sputtering engine, chipped paint, rusted out bumper
you park behind the building, rush to leave work first
so nobody sees the roll-up windows or the spit dripping
from the muffler. Might get you ten miles, might get you
more. Lean back against the vinyl leaking exposed foam, feel
the seat worn down just right to the shape of your ass. Not a puff pastry, smooth
ride, purring kitten kind of car. Not, You Got This, Girl Boss, Fuck Him, Fuck
His Shit, Spa Day, fluorescent drinks, low light room, bubblegum admiration,
button down shirts staring—no. This is the long haul, last hope, one thing
standing between you and the curb-stomp kind of ride. Windows
down in the desert praying oh god please don’t stall
out in this cactus dust forest. Sweat past the bad
decisions, body like a woman breaking: Still dishing out warmth, honored
with scars. All you go is all you’ll ever get, quietly
kind of like it like this, dirty road
rattling your carefree bones.

Do life like your style. That great, blank, silk
pillow in the sky won’t yield
to your wheels or have the same
feel as your grip
on the miles. 

Jenica Lodde is a poet residing in Scranton, PA. Her work has appeared in various literary magazines: io, Gravel, Third Wednesday, River and South Review, The Scop, The Purposeful Mayonnaise, Windows Facing Windows Review, Spillover Magazine, Gyroscope Review, Occulum, and others. She has one chapbook, Emotional States, Finishing Line Press, 2020. Her verse memoir, Roadrunners, about growing up as an unschooled hippie, is forthcoming through Honey House Press.

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