Madison Jones: “Bon Voyage”


Printed in blue on the suitcase my mother keeps

her meds in when she travels, the words beneath

a ship coming or going at breakneck speed.

Three stacks funnel steam into the atmosphere

like those at the Crystal River Nuclear Plant

where children think clouds are made.

Its lithium arc pumped into the sky, fueling the black

wedge toward or away from some paradise.

One stack for morning, noon, and night, subdued

under gray steam that curls like cigarette smoke,

reaching into spectral blues and greens,

where gulls flee a distant storm, out of sight

with the fifteen pills a day, for the nerve pain,

the mood swings, the drowsiness, and then the fish oil,

all snapped in the pill box beneath where ocean

spills from the leather edges of the trunk.

Madison Jones is a doctoral candidate in writing studies at the University of Florida. His poetry collection, Reflections on the Dark Water, was released by Solomon & George in 2016. His poems have appeared in North American Review, Crab Orchard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, Painted Bride Quarterly, and elsewhere. He has reviewed for Kenyon Review Online, Valparaiso Poetry Review, storySouth, and elsewhere.

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