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don’t want to need
                     to know
                             how bad bad feels
                                                          to know
                                                                        to hold on
                                                                                                    to good tighter.
                                                                                                                       I do hate the feeling of


                             tight                    blood
                                                                        barely knows my knuckles
                                                                                                     in the West and I don’t want to know
                                                                                                                                                that what you need
                                                                                                                   from me is silence
                                                                        when I’m remembering a poem
                                           in the Nebraska Sand Hills
about the Nebraska Sand Hills.

                                         but I didn’t know I’d need to know
                                                                                                     this vision,
                                                                                                                   just velveteen
                                                                                                                   of golden grass
                                                                                                     rumpled like some
                                                                                      celestial fabric
                                                          to lie exactly
                                           as it fell
                             shimmering,                                 and would I have understood

                                                                          had I not been practicing
                                                                                                        seeing that crackling beauty
                                                                                                                                              in the dryness
                                                                                                                                                                   of California?

I’d held my spyglass to the Prairie
              and now the little dogs
                             with their little folded hands
                                                          pop out of their dens to watch
                                                                                                                   the only car on the road
                                                                                                     reflecting glimmer
                                                          and all the holding tight
                                           and circular days
                             & pitching tents
              by lantern light
have traded us this new dream
              of tucking our arms to our chests and rolling
                                           like granular marbles and in my dreams the grass doesn’t itch
                                                                                      at all it feels like a shag carpet feels when you’re
                                                                                                                             stoned in someone’s parents’ house
                                                                        if the carpet were dipping into clouds
                                                          just as the evening turned orange
                             and I remember how sturdy my bones were
as a kid and how my dad would take us
                             up to  campus
                                           and I would roll down those neon hills all thunkthunkthunk
                                                                        spinning like a free carnival ride
                                                          and I want to return and try
                                                                                      the same thing here
                                                                                                     and when I memorized
                                                                                                                   that Twyla Hansen poem
                                                                                                     in high school I was
                                                                                      thinking about stars
                                                                        where I thought that all
                                                          the magic was but now
                                                                                      I have a birthday card
                                                                                                     on my bedside table
                                                                                      that makes it feel much closer.

and if I were to roll
                             all the way back East like that
                                                          I wonder, for how many days would I feel too sick to stand?
                                                                                                                                                I can shimmer, too,
                                                                                                                                  if you hold me
                                                                                                                   to the light.
                                                          out here I have a painful purpose.
                                                                                      so I hypnotize myself
                                                                                                                   with the rolling
                                                                                                                                                               the folding
                                                                                                                                                of my bones
force = mass and acceleration
                             so I keep the momentum,
find a tear in the velvet, and crawl inside until we’re home.

Meghan Aubuchon is a writer and visual artist pursuing a BFA in Communications Design and a Creative Writing minor at Pratt Institute. She grew up in rural Vermont and is currently based in Brooklyn. She is interested in the spaces between places, people, and time. Her work is an earnest attempt at translating intangible experiences of intimacy and the kinds of feelings that are hard to explain. Most recently, she has been interested in temporariness and how people and their spaces mutually affect each other. She is currently working on a book about every place where she has ever slept.

© 2022, Meghan Aubuchon 

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