Gnashing Teeth Publishing

| words that get in your teeth

aphelion & the summer road trip we were never took – Melissa Calderon-Rougié

postcard of mountains

aphelion & the summer road trip we were never took

staring up through the windshield
aphelion never looked so close
the sky an eruption of blue
clear and inviting

where once I clutched
whispered promises, my
concave chest blisters red
below a fire sun

along this highway trajectory
ivory clouds float ahead
to an unmapped destination
each mile marker a flag to the past

I remember where we started;
grass-stained knees, a picnic blanket
the city on the horizon
melting into a maze of lights

you puff out smoke like
a train full steam ahead,
I taste the exhaust in my lungs
you toss out your cigarette
as the mixtape unravels
before us

Bio -Melissa Calderon-Rougié (she/her) is a Peruvian-American writer born and raised in New York. Her poetry has been published in 433 Mag, Harness Magazine, DREICH themed chapbooks, and various anthologies. She is a Tin House alum. The eldest daughter of Peruvian immigrants, she lives with her husband, daughter and son in Queens.

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Pushcart Prize Nominees for 2023

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