Road Trip Metaphors

This car is a sea-scrap shell—I’m a hermit crab
growing monstrous in an artificial womb.

we are steel salmon swimming downstream
through South Carolina’s burnt-tire water.
sitting next to me in the passenger seat,
we’re conjoined twins connected
at the cupholder, sharing gas station rest-stop
pork rinds—lifeblood.
Georgia is a warm-pine peach.
Florida’s palms are unwritten poems
raising their flagged hands out the median—
the first two lines
of every driver’s masterpiece
coal-hot tipping their cigarette.
You’re a goddamn masterpiece.
A tropical storm overtakes the highway
outside Fort Lauderdale—Biblically
washing away the asphalt smear
tying here to where we once were, and where,
if we had been lucky enough,
would have ended up.
Brendan Walsh has fallen in love with South Korea, Laos, and all of New England; he currently lives in South Florida to sate his palm tree needs. He been published in Connecticut Review, LONTAR, Wisconsin Review, and other journals. His second collection, Go, was published by Aldrich Press in 2016. His work has been awarded the Anna Sonder Prize of the Academy of American Poets, the Leslie Leeds Poetry Prize, and a Freedman Prize for poetry in performance.

Photography by Julie Van Der Wekken