I hate the cold.
I need sun and summer and warmth
like I need oxygen pulsing through my bloodstream.
I want to take a road trip.
To climb up into the cab of some country boy’s truck
and have him drive me far away from here.
I want to wear big, dark sunglasses
and hang my feet out the window
while he sings along with Tom Petty
well it started out down a dirty road
and backs out of the drive way.
To stop at the first gas station we see,
fill up the tank and buy
a pack of Marlboro Menthols and a case of Busch Light,
a bag of gummy worms and a cold Diet Coke.
I want to crank the music up real loud
and settle down into the seat,
using one of his old t-shirts balled up against his thigh
as a pillow for my head to rest on.
To close my eyes so I can’t see the haystacks and oak trees
flying by, a blur as he speeds us away
along a back road to somewhere else.
I want him to call out choices that all lead us to the coast
wanna turn left or turn right?
as he calls his momma, too,
we won’t be back for supper with the family on Sunday, Ma.
To dig around on the floorboard and find an dirty ball cap,
take pictures of myself wearing it, reflections in the side mirror,
and pictures of him grinning at me through the rear view.
I want to crawl into the driver’s seat when he pulls over for a bathroom break,
and try to drive the truck myself as he laughs and reminds me
remember the last time you tried to drive a stick shift?
To steal a quick kiss, slide back into my seat, and take off again,
driving until we see sand instead of red clay
and waves instead of tobacco fields.
I want to park behind a dune, grab a beer,
tumble out into the salty air,
and stretch on my tiptoes, toward a pink and purple sky.
To grab his hand without saying a thing,
and walk barefoot toward my favorite reminder in the world
of how small I am compared to the big picture.
I want the water to wash over my feet
as it tries to sink me into the sand and pull me out into oblivion.
To take a few steps back and sit in between his legs,
falling back into his arms and neck,
watching the sun fall behind the ocean
like all the couples in the movies do.
I want to ruin the movie moment and make it mine instead, cursing quietly
shit, the camera’s still in the truck
then laugh together as he rubs my arm and we create a memory all our own.
To nod off just like that, napping in the sand,
until the tide creeps over our toes
and wakes us before a beach ranger can.
I want us to head for the boardwalk, stomachs growling,
searching for crab legs and shrimp so fresh they were caught that morning.
To eat dinner on a dock, talking about what rebels we are,
just up and leaving everybody behind like that.
I want to go back to the truck, and pile our blankets up in the bed,
too exhausted to do anything but sleep.
To drift off listening to the sea’s steady roar and his quiet sleep snores,
tucked away behind the dune and under the stars
and everything is perfect.
This is what I want when winter comes along
and summer dreams flood my mind
when I cannot sleep.
A boy and a truck and the ocean
and a road trip to somewhere else,
until summer comes back to me,
and home will be good enough again.