red heels

By: Claire Hutchinson

when you click your heels and wish for home, where exactly is it that you go? i packed away all my ambition in manilla envelopes of faded dreams and sent them away to coral reefs so schools of fish a generation after me could learn from my mistakes. start saving for college when you’re six, a year for every digit, because if you want a higher education then you can’t afford the things that make you happy. (maybe that’s why nemo’s dad didn’t want him to go to school.) sew your stories into the patchwork quilt of your backpack slung across your shoulders and never trust someone that you can’t touch with the tips of your eyelashes.

(start wearing mascara so that you can pretend that everyone you love is close enough.)

when you look up at the stars at night, tuck them into your lint-lined backpack pockets and keep the stardust there like secrets. (no one ever keeps secrets.) sprinkle those stars onto your shoes and hope that pixie dust flies you faster than Southwest or Spirit airlines. mailboxes don’t go in reverse, so everything that you’ve sent away doesn’t tend to come right back without being stamped in red. NO ONE LIVES THERE. ADDRESS NOT REAL. SANTA DIED IN THE
SECOND GRADE. nemo, go home. nemo, go home.

(cross my heart and hope to die for i have lived a thousand lives each covered by a constellation that dot-dot-dots me right back to the deepest shades of blue. how different are astronomers from oceanographers anyway? we’re all searching for things that everyone else is scared of finding. we’re all searching for things that don’t exist but have to.)

destination: still figuring it out. destination: a desert built from a river that ran out a long time ago, from everyone that ran out a long time ago, a delta of broken dreams peppered with sandcastles of stories that never saw completion. destination: roswell, because i’ve always loved road trips and maybe UFOs will be more comfortable than the backseat of my carolla.

destination: home. maybe these heels will figure out what that means by the time i’ve finished counting: one (home), two (home), three--