Getting somewhere

by Amanda Conover

I build it all up, the way things will be once xyz happens, all three at once, all thirteen hundred at once. Ideal perception of the body, fulfilling career with absolutely no negatives, flawless friends according to my wishlist, perfect this and that and this again. How it’d feel like sitting underwater and staring up at the distorted clouds that look like Blue Morpho butterflies and kaleidoscopes and butterflies inside kaleidoscopes. It’s what my therapist taught me – how to imagine a better reality in your head so you don’t get stuck despising the life you have. I drive fast in my pollen-covered Corolla. I make friends and work and go to raves where I whip my head to dubstep beats and feel the crowd flutter around me in ever-changing shades of blue and purple and pink. Then I drive again. I drive and drive and keep driving until I’m seeing what’s right in front of me and not realizing what I’m seeing. Until I don’t even remember the destination or where I came from.

I would have done anything

to be yours and you knew it, because I said so in one giant paragraph the night my friend told me if I didn’t tell you now I might miss out forever. So I did and you told me something that sounded like no but tasted like maybe and the next day you said you’d been thinking about me so I was thinking that meant more than it did, which was nothing. I saw you everywhere. You were the car behind and in front of me in every Dunkin drive-through, the bridge of every song and the sugar in every drink. I had no friends but I had my Instagram stories to swipe up on, to get my fix for the day when you saw what I shared. Until posting turned from once in a while to every chance I got and when you didn’t see or like something I’d melt into a pile of pain and rage. You were in every poem and paragraph and voice memo. I prayed to every god I knew to take your pain, all of it, so you wouldn’t have that black hole of a heart, thinking you’d eventually want me – the whole time knowing deep down that I had to stop before anything turned me into nothing.

Amanda Conover is a queer writer based in Raleigh, North Carolina who often writes about existentialism, spirituality, social justice, and mental health. She is the poetry editor for Carolina Muse Literary and Arts Magazine and recently completed her MFA in Arcadia University’s low residency program. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in places such as lickety~split, Miracle Monacle, Atlanta Review, and Sad Girl Diaries.  

International Standard Serial Number
ISSN 2297-3656