It hasn’t rained here in at least a month, which means all the scrub brush is the color of my ex girlfriend’s hair and the dirt is always kicking itself up, trying to land in somebody’s open mouth. I cross the California state line for the first time in four years and think: this is what it feels like to be a highway in love with a parked car, this is what it feels like to sit on the doorstep of his house and not be let into it. He is the highway and the car and the light in my attic and the hand on the back of my neck. He is the reason peaches still grow wherever I sit down to write poetry. My unfinished love note. My locked door. I had a dream about being led into his home blindfolded. He sat me on the bed and told me his father’s name, told me his favorite fruit, told me he loved me but wouldn’t look me in the eye. What must it feel like to be so afraid of joy that you won’t let it walk across your living room with the lights on?
— Trista Mateer