in a car the color of an ocean map
on a circular road that led south to north
we stopped at a house near a dead-end street
where we sat on the floor
in sun-bleached clothes

we can’t get our bearings
with our backs to the mountain
and the horizon holds only what we don’t want here

roll up your sleeping bag
tie your shoes in the dark
we’ll cup water in gas stations
between night and day


I drink coffee from a styrofoam cup
lift our bags into the trunk
pull a map from the glovebox.
It’s so early most of the truckers haven’t left yet.

I can see you in the motel office
and I can see the corner of an orange bedspread
on the floor of one room because the door is standing open
letting bright hazy light in.
A housekeeping cart is parked outside
and what was ours will soon belong to someone else.

Volume 11.2 - December 2018

SAMANTHA MALAY was born in Berlin, Germany and grew up in rural eastern Washington State. She is a graduate of Seattle University’s sociology program, a theatrical wardrobe technician by trade, and a mixed-media artist. Her published poetry can be found at: thistleandhasp.wordpress.com