Sioned Curoe

Nostalgia for an Empty Place

English burns bitter on my tongue
and for the first time in living memory
I feel homesick for a countryside
surrounded by so much fucking corn

My sister calls from California
happy birthday a month late
with the barest handful of change
I gift her only coffee
and Midwest impressions of the sea

Our Lyft driver asks me to speak
my second language
the code-switch is upheaval
a great grind of earthen plates
and iron pressing against teeth

I am not trapped here
gods know I have every chance
to pack up for some state
without flat endless fields
where I can eat weed in peace

This is what I tell myself
when winter wrenches my knees
out of joint

Sioned Curoe is a queer poet and artist living in Iowa. Their previous publications include works in Coe Review, Colere, The Pearl, and Dubuque Area Writers Guild Gallery 2016: Shapes.