Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof

by Bailey Share-Alzic

I have never taken a road trip
down a highway, Route 66 or
any long stretch of road, passing
motels and tumbleweeds and
I have never taken a road trip
unless you count driving three
hours from the doctor in
Santa Monica to the theatre
downtown, dead-lock halted,
outpaced by the homeless man
walking the side of the freeway.

I have never taken a road trip, but
during my junior year of high
school, my parents and I took
a tour of the rich people colleges
of the American Northeast:
your Ivies and Little Ivies and
wannabe Ivies, because I was a
smart kid, you see. We flew into
Boston – our flight was delayed
and we worried we’d miss the
first tour – and snaked down
to Philadelphia. Five states
in five days. Nine schools in
five days. I learned that snow
was scary and the SATs were
scarier, and at the end of our trip
we stopped at the Liberty Bell.

It was free to see and take pictures
but parking at the Liberty Bell was
$15. That didn’t scare me. I’m an
Angeleno, damn it. I’ve paid more
to park at the mall, and that was
after validation. Proclaim liberty
throughout all the land.

I have never taken a road trip
up the coast of California, mighty
redwoods, Napa Valley, a veritable
fat Barbie passing through Malibu
on the way to Google headquarters
up north. My cousin is a computer
genius – I bet I’ll be getting free
Chromebooks in a couple years.
I spent a month in the Bay Area
a couple summers ago. (I say Bay
Area because I mean Oakland,
but it’s nicer to imagine that I
lived on goddamn Haight Ashbury.)
This was the summer that DOMA
came down. My friends and I
took the Bart to the Castro and
partied like maniacs. We stopped
in the Mission for tacos on the
way home and I got to show off
how much Spanish I knew.
Anuncia la libertad por toda la tierra.

I want to take a road trip from
Oaxaca to Calgary and whip myself
at every single mission bell.
I want to walk from sea to shining
goddamn sea, to plunge myself
into the Grand Canyon, to take
a class at the rich people college
in the old Triangle Shirtwaist
building. I want to give a dollar to
the homeless man outrunning me
to the theatre. When I say all the
land, I want to mean all of it.

Bailey Share Aizic is a poet, student, and editor of Wizards in Space Literary Magazine. Read her work in Calamus Journal, Right Hand Pointing, Quatrain Fish, and Canvas Lit.