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Ride Home

Aaron Caycedo-Kimura


Dad blows cigarette smoke

out the station wagon window.

It swirls back in, mixing

with the stink of seawater, perch,

and flounder. On a back road


home from Bodega Bay,

a morning of fishing off the jetty,

we drive with nothing much to say.

The vinyl seat hot under my thighs,

feet barely touching the floor,

the twisty road making me carsick.


He turns on the radio,

punches a buck-toothed button

for his favorite oldies station.

He fiddles with the knob

but can’t get rid of the static


over Lena Horne. At Freestone

General Store, he buys two bottles

of Sprite. The bubbles scratch my throat,

but the cold sips of lemon-lime

give us something to talk about.

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