Unfamiliar Terrain, by Alan Toltzis

Unfamiliar Terrain
by Alan Toltzis

Driving a new car, in a new town,
in grinding traffic, switching lanes,
not knowing their curves
or my blind spots,
fumbling for controls—
nothing’s where it should be.
The radio grates off-kilter rhythms.
The GPS displays the wrong destination.

But it’s not long before
that same music
plays near the ground meat
in the supermarket aisle.
Blood pools
where cellophane meets Styrofoam.

I look up some night
and think it’s morning
because the moon
is full again,
its craters staring
me down in bed.

Process Notes: Visiting or moving to a new area can be disorienting and feel surreal. I was trying to capture that experience in this poem.

Alan Toltzis is the author of 49 Aspects of Human Emotion, The Last Commandment, and Nature Lessons. A two-time Pushcart nominee, he has published in numerous print and online journals including, Grey Sparrow, The Wax Paper, Black Bough Poetry, Eye Flash Poetry, and Poetry NI. Find him online at alantoltzis.com and follow him @ToltzisAlan.

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