Roadtrip – Sofija Popovska

“I called the Holy Virgin ‘sugar’ on accident,”
He stands in the hallway, curly and lost, bitten nails and car keys in hand.
I wrap obsidian bits in little newspaper cutouts as we take off,
one for each doll with his hair in it we find hanging around town.
Angel numbers flash on neon shop signs
and underground announcement boards,
Chinese takeout receipts and shin tattoos.
Our bad luck love is in favor today.
The subway slices through a greasy cloud. The station
is limestone and whirr, trashcan overflowing with teriyaki noodles,
fortune teller grabs my hand and pushes it away, paler.
I feel them closing in, I hear deliberate scorpion legs tap-tap-tap
on the vast dusty floor, charcoal eyes unblinking and a blue flame for a heart.
Careful embroidering fingers stitch dark locks onto doll heads,
wrath straining desperately, like a broken tongue.
Out of a black cloud comes a premonition of pattering feet —
still underground but soon in the near future. I’m seized by fear,
by a yen to move, we run into a train and off
to where the sky is immediately blue, where it’s
just the yolk of it and no distance, where my heart aches and it’s
all bright in the back of my mind.
“I think she understands,” I say, squinting against a new sun.