Poetry: Exit Strategy
By Rachel Linton
Photo by Diego Jimenez via Upsplash.
When I think about erasure, I think of the highway.
I have an exit strategy--it never hurts to plan
for the worst-case, last-case scenario. I think
everyone should. It’s allowed to be crazy,
allowed to be a little dangerous, one step above
time travel. It’s the thing you’ll never do
in this lifetime. Shake clear the Etch-a-Sketch.
How-to-disappear-completely. Your first
and last magic trick.
Here’s mine: I’ll drive east into the desert. When I hit
that long stretch of highway (extraterrestrial) that runs
north through Nevada, nowhere to nowhere, I’ll stop
at every little town along the way. I’ll ask if they need
a barista, if they need a waitress, if they need a clerk
at the convenience store, if nowhere can take one
more nobody. I’ll tell them a different name. I’ll find
a place hovering in between the sky and the desert
and let it eat everything I’ve ever been.
I’ll feed it the past,
piece by piece.
All I’m saying is that if it all feels really
truly over, you can always count
on the Delorean. Maybe you don’t need it;
probably you don’t need it. I don’t know the exact
percentage of people who have ever wished
to scrub everything they’ve ever been
off the earth, ever felt like maybe there would be nothing
left at the end of the drive. But if you have
a greyhound ticket, a destination in mind,
and a name that could be someone else
there’s always one road out of town.