If I had been there at the point you must’ve Said I can’t afford to be me anymore. If I might’ve Tucked one small idea like a torn ticket into The pocket of your wrecked jacket. Give us This day, its baking pavement tar, longing hanging Tackily like flannel sleeves tied around my waist. I was told this place was designed to be larger than Life, confectionery. Sweetheart, I knew you’d be here. After all, it’s a small world, & a maze is just A confidently long hallway if you run Your hand along one wall & never take it off, Solvable—you could even walk it backwards & It’d out you eventually, one small idea, a forced orchid Powdered bright with afterlife in a girl’s hair. Love, The difference between a ride & a journey is that One will deliver you right back to where you started & call it a good time. I was told this place would take me For one after another—turns out it’s just the same Old song: about to die rushes your lungs, blooms so quick: A time-lapse flower, a wish, a cliff, then lingers like it’s taking Forever. Stay too long & the air turns awful hot & Sweet, latent as funnel cake. None for me, thanks. My stomach isn’t tuned for it, turns just looking at it. But maybe it’s not my place to say so. I’m looking for A place to park myself. I am so tired of taking such Raucous care of myself, but I can’t afford not to, & In the end, I’m always ready to call it a day, for us to turn For home, once I’ve gone & seen what all the fuss was about.

AMY WOOLARD is a writer and public policy attorney working on foster care, juvenile justice, poverty, public benefits, and youth homelessness issues in Virginia. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the University of Virginia School of Law. Her poems have appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, Fence, Massachusetts Review, Crazyhorse, and Best New Poets 2013 and 2015, among others, and have been awarded prizes by Indiana Review and Puerto del Sol. She was also awarded a 2016 residency fellowship from the Vermont Studio center. Her essays have run on Slate, Pacific Standard, The Rumpus, Indiewire, and elsewhere. You can find her on Twitter @awoo_ and on her website, shift7.me. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.