Missed Flight by Hannah Jove
Did you want a particular life?
So did I but then the cement dried unusually fast
and I got stuck watering someone else’s plants for half a decade.
The jasmine blossoms growling in the tea bag it never asked for.
I gave up on my exhibit and the children and liquid stitches
and now the toast pops up burnt and I have to look away.
I found a compass at an estate sale but it won’t calibrate,
no four cardinal directions—it only points to fish hearts broken by oil spills
or toward sunbeams that won’t behave
or toward white people who flinch.
The beam belongs to the rug but the rug belongs to the trap door and I belong
to the broken ankle I dream about feeling.
Maybe my woolgathering will cut a slit in a film that physics overlooked.
I was made for imitation vaudeville, for crushed velvet, for throwing off my skins, rubbernecking the
moon, crushed drugs, anything crushed.
I park in front of Mattress Ranch and crack my knuckles against the steering wheel.
I was supposed to be the one who points out the joints, pointing at all the joints, where backwash connects
to the very first sip but I’ve wasted half a decade trying to recognize myself, watering plastic plants,
slicing meat against the grain, waking up with ghost peppers in my mouth.
The suitcase left on the baggage claim doing slow, lonely laps.
Hannah Jove is a poet and maker currently living in Seattle, Washington. Previous publications include Raw Paw, The Monarch Review, and Ohio Edit. You can find her online at @heart_broth or at HannahJove.com.