Mitchell Angelo

Motion Sickness

We spiral across the turnpike, a blur of hands and gasoline. I can’t hold onto
the steering wheel, onto all of these abstract ideas so early in this poem.
Mother Mary taps my shoulder and asks if I would consider using the word
“motor oil” instead. We’re throwing up and it’s like

we’re kids again. Our roadmap folds into a fan and shoots into the puck-
ered eye of a toll booth worker. He squawks, collapsing like a Great Stork.
At home, his kids flop around in the mud. Birds in oil. They garble like
salmon-hungry hounds. A falling such and such. Mother Mary asks if I got
lazy here. Even if

I could talk about myself without using my name—Instead: You take off
your shirt and say something mean. Farmed flesh. Rivers of legs. It’s so hard
to look at you when you are so hungry. A jewel falls into my mouth. I taste
nothing. You hold me in your mouth. You say I taste nothing.

Between bodies there are pages of poems dedicated to my queer shame. In a
perfect world, you take the wheel. In a perfect world, I don’t flinch when we
hit water.

Mitchell Angelo is a creative writing major at SUNY Purchase College, and the managing editor of
Gutter Mag. His work has previously appeared in Gandy Dancer,, and The Westchester Review. His microwave is haunted.