Why You’re Afraid of the Road by Charlotte Muse


“Why You’re Afraid of the Road” by Charlotte Muse


There is room for one car, but what if the wheels
miss and the car hangs over the edge
with two tires spinning? You’d be moving frantically
against the door, hoping to keep the balance
or get out. Never would the yellow dust of the road seem
so desirable; the blue sky so thin and threatening;
and you a turned-over turtle, a blind bird!

Or what if you just drove off the edge
because you were tired of all
curves and wanted to lie on air?

Whether or not spirits come back,
empty and blue and unable to hold anything,
you could say you’d gone into their place
in your body. Of course
you love life–
it holds you as hard as death does.
Everything holds you but the air
and this is why you’re afraid of the road.



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Charlotte Muse Artist Statement:

Charlotte Muse received her MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State
University. Her awards include the Allen Ginsberg Award, the Elinor Benedict Poetry
Prize, the Yeats Society of New York’s Poetry Award, two Atlanta Review International
Publication Awards, and awards in the Joy Harjo Poetry competition, the Foley Prize, and
Ireland’s Feile Filiochta, as well as the short list for England’s 2013 Bridport Prize. Her
work has been published in magazines and anthologies.
A letterpress edition of her recent chapbook, A Story Also Grows, handmade by
the Chester Creek Press, is in both the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian rare book
collections. She teaches and writes in Menlo Park, CA, where she likes to sit at the
bottom of a nearby dry creek and stare off into space.

Author: A Room of Her Own

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