travels by amy fernow

Ninety degrees. One hundred and ninety degrees and




The heat makes my skin and hair collapse to drops:

A sweat that tastes like southern coasts

Like dead sea foam and crayons and conch shells

That green tipped sand makes my fingertips feel numb

Numb but able to sink big ships with icicle ways

Even when the mercury rises too high and shatters the glass.


When the pieces cut the bottoms of feet

I take myself back to dreary winds that tend to blow all sorts of suns away

I can only take the train all of them are heading north so I will take a suitcase and


Fill it with X’s not red lips not full lips we’re crossing out

Fill it with dice and bugs so we might win it all over again

Fill it with wrinkled hands that haven’t gotten old

(just worn away with scratching and biting and reaching and clawing and things)


The movement is only eating us when we call it success and show our teeth

It’s looking like white smiles from here


I want to smash the sand the sand art filling glass candle cradles

Trying to make burns prettier

With wicks that wear away so


I want to make shapes that don’t hurt my eyes – I know where that vision is going –

I want to pick the wins off and stop calling them nice or pretty

They are not like bugs they are bugs and


Each morning is in front of the mirror.


If I can demand I story

Then I can finish it and

Stop calling trains purposeful and trying porcelain glances out for size

Not fitting, not anytime soon.