A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose

Julie Carter

lives in Ohio with her husband and their strange array of cats.

Her work has appeared in Mimesis, Autumn Sky, Snakeskin, OCHO, and The Shit Creek Review.

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In camera

Here a mountain, there a glacier. I am four
while someone else takes pictures out the windshield
of nothing, of road, road, and the creasing concrete belt
of road, of the green wagon’s hood,
of vacant motels with their thick neon Pool!

My pants are purple. On stick legs like stalks
of hardy pokeweed. The shirts change blue,
green, red, blue, blue. Heavy, light, tucked,
tight, too long, wrinkled. But the pants
stay purple by the Grand Canyon, purple
at the rodeo. Purple with my chapped lips hot
on the rough cold bottle of an Orange Crush,
the pinkie-poking cap divoted and spun. Like a finger
in the frame or up a nose—always caught on film.

And here I am again. Sometimes bony shins
peeking out, a gapping smile, sturdy on a ferry,
asleep on a bed. The endless road, the water,
redwoods, paint-speckled deserts, and then a picture
of no one, just the spiking blue of a Teton,
and one lone distant flower. So purple. With arms.