E.C. Gannon

I’ve lived too much of this life in moldy, mid-

century motels. Ones with cockroaches perched

on every picture frame, frames framing horses

in the snow. Wood paneling. A musty-smelling

armchair. A TV that picks up two stations.

A continental breakfast, sheets that won’t

stay tucked. It always feels familiar, smells like

my grandfather, the one who’s been dead

for fifteen years. Mothballs and Marlboro.

When was the last time I ate a meal

that didn’t need to be wrapped in tissue?

Have I become an expert on interchange patterns?

It’s been so long since I slept through the night,

undisturbed by strange noises from the radiator

or moans from the lovers on the other side

of the wall. It’s delirium, the yellow line beside

me, the rain on the windshield, exiting a state

I didn’t know I had entered. In the rearview,

every car looks like a cop. I don’t know anything anymore,

anything other than the empty space

between the double beds and fantasies

about how much longer I have to remain in motion

before I stumble off the interstate, dizzy and empty-

tanked, and find a small town that smells like home.

“I did my undergrad in Tallahassee and returned home to New Hampshire for breaks, which means I drove up and down the East Coast a number of times, though certainly not enough to account for all the poems I've written about long-haul road trips. I was wondering why the subject is so attractive to me as a writer, and this poem is, I think, a partial answer.”


E.C. Gannon's work has previously appeared in a few small magazines. A Bostonian by birth, she holds a degree in creative writing and political science from Florida State University. She is currently trying to stay warm in New Hampshire.

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