Dionne’s First Time on the Freeway

In the parking lot of the Burger King,
where the driving instructor asked me

to wait so he could run in for a coffee,
I was wishing I could trade the Honda

and New Jersey plates for a crimson
Bimmer, boyfriend, and backseat bestie.

When would I advance to on-ramps
and merges, graduate from dodging vans

full of groceries and dirt-crusted athletes,
have license to leave him and his coffee?

I wanted the four-oh-five and the road
rage thick like smog. I wanted to know

that one day I’d drive a rented SUV
in the middle lane on the San Diego Freeway

with the man I love a passenger next to me.
He’d be coaching me with updates: one mile

before the correct exit. I’d be unfamiliar
with the freeway but not afraid like Dionne,

who only realizes the importance of love
when she’s able to exit the freeway alive.

I’d appreciate directions, but they’d be more
novelty than necessity, given the navigation.

Dionne's First Time on the Freeway Banner Image

Laryssa Wirstiuk

Laryssa Wirstiuk

Laryssa Wirstiuk is a poet and writer based in New Jersey, where she lives with her miniature dachshund Charlotte Moo. Her writing has been published in Word Riot, Gargoyle Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Atticus Review, among other venues. You can view her portfolio here.
Laryssa Wirstiuk

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