Fashion Anxiety
Running into Strangers


(d. mathias)

I wonder how many of us had the same dream
of blasting a laser beam from the car window,
mowing down trees at seventy miles per hour,
or a giant saw blade clipping streetlights
at the root. That line of mailboxes? Forget it.
Those rotted trees, toothless in the swamp?
Billboards? Telephone poles? I sent them all
to an orderly doom. Like wipers slicing through
a field of rain, just doing my job.
Why does riding in the backseat
conjure such visions– a minor apocalypse
along the interstate between dad’s house
and mom’s every other week? Why is it
the pines up front pass so much faster
while the deep forest hovers behind the blur,
secret black at the center? No matter. My long
arm lays em down, a thicket of dominos.
It’s finer than anything in real life, wider,
cleaner than the stubbled path of a tornado.
It shames the power company and their half-assed
tree-trimming. My knife never stutters, never
strays, leaves not even a splinter dangling.
It slips through trunks like scissors through bangs.
I dreamed I clear cut acres with my stare,
the blade of one palm flexing in the wind.



this is one of your best ones yet.


dear wednesday writer.

thank you.


Nice, Hannah. I have done this many times myself, even recently.


Props to your success. I've been trying to chop down this one particular trunk with my palm for no avail. I've even tried it while in the back seat of the car.


This is beautiful, Hannah. Truly, I didn't realize it was a poem until I'd loved every line, and then had to think better about my poetic prejudice. (I always fancied my arm was controlling a puppet motorcycle that raced my momma's station wagon.)


I used to do this with regularity.

I also used to pick out a spot on the windshield and make that my cross-hairs for similar destructive imaginings.

I really enjoy this poem. Thank you for sharing it with me.


the part of riding in a car i enjoyed most was the light from the setting sun as it flickered through trees alongside the road.

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