This selection, chosen by Managing Editor Krista Cox, is from Automotive by Ceridwen Hall, released by Finishing Line Press in 2020.
Snow dusts the concrete at dawn, not cumulative, just obscuring patches of ice. I brush the windshield, ignore the roof. Every few winters this self starts to feel like a pretense. Why name and face difficulty in a body, in thought. It thrashes or goes still when you fail to recognize that gaze in the rearview. A warning: she rejects every available friction, sways rudderless. A stranger in pajamas stops me to ask for money and prayers, but this ‘I’ seems unable to meet any need, unable to speak even. Blame arrives, then guilt. It takes so long to heat the car each time. And what’s autonomy— a series of decisions. Hours and clouds shift. Steam rises. Vessels constrict in this weather; blood abandons extremities. I want, idly, to be more kind, more anything. Crystals of salt encrust the road and every passing tire.