Stephanie Choi

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Stephanie Choi

Nothing Natural Here

The last hour of a thirty-three hour four day road trip
almost to the edge of the Atlantic, we get stuck

on the George Washington bridge—surrounded
so tightly by semi-trucks, sedans, Teslas, and dented SUVs,

not even a plastic bag could slip between our bumper
and the Amazon delivery truck we inch closely behind.

My one hand on the steering wheel, the other holding yours.
The cell service is weak so Daft Punk’s Get Lucky plays on repeat,

humming under screeching brakes and elongated horns—of course
I want to hear again the red-winged blackbird’s mating call.

Our first date, Bear River: I placed my hands around your waist
and turned you towards him in the Phragmites. How you held

up your binoculars as he raised his wings, blazing yellow
suddenly visible. Later, on the auto tour route, a sandhill crane

stood by the side of the road and you said The birds get all of this
as refuge?
Where river meets horizon—your hand, mine.

Stephanie Choi reads “Nothing Natural Here”


Stephanie Choi’s poems appear or are forthcoming in Bellevue Literary Review, New Ohio Review, Electric Literature, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere.