TRUE LENGTHS ARE MISUNDERSTOOD
JC Bouchard

Their bodies are a landmark.

The roundness of her reflects
his handprints, invisible breath below,
a map from the 108-South to the TransCan.

Nobody knows why we do it.

It’s warm and knots against
their palms, asphalt almost straight
to Manitoba, but they still don’t know
where they’re headed.

They believe each other.

Cops pick them up half-way to the Sault,
drive them back to their dark houses.

They look at me like there’s a way back
to where they came. We skid out
of the Spine lot back into town.

Remember when we said we’d make it?

Yeah, I said, I remember, and I still think
there’s some bravery in running away.

They say the yellow lines of the road
are secret ghosts, half-lit borders, invisible
rings always stretching around them.

They didn’t get far.

Nobody does.


JC Bouchard’s poetry has appeared in Bad Nudes, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, The Puritan, BafterC, and Arc. He is the author of two chapbooks: Portraits (In/Words Press) and WOOL WATER (words(on)pages press). He hosts a literary podcast called First Words and lives in Toronto.