Stephanie Kaylor

Learner’s Permit
I only heard the shouting
door slamming my mother
gone my father almost
laughing never looking
out the window toward her
telling me it would be ok
instead he cracked his
knuckles and he waited and
he knew she’d only make it
two blocks to Hillcrest
Road and then what
the cars she didn’t
ever learn to drive
metal blurs speeding
past her, nothing across
the road ahead not even
a sweaty man who’d want
to take her & not ask any
questions at 34, two children
by two men
their worlds spilling
from her thighs unruly
she wore tunics to
try and hide the weight she
carried veins that broke
into varicose tears &
her slumping shoulders
out of reach, they landed
on my own set of knees
when I had still never
driven never owned the car
she wanted me to take her
in to buckle up and feel
the wind blowing in our
hair while she would see
the places she had never
gone only dreamed
as if I could ever learn
how to show her one more
time she had nowhere
left to go

Stephanie Kaylor is a writer from upstate New York. She holds a MA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University at Albany and is currently finishing a MA in Philosophy at the European Graduate School. Stephanie is Managing Editor for Five:2:One Magazine and Reviews Editor for Glass: A Journal of Poetry. Her poetry has appeared in journals including Luna Luna Magazine, BlazeVOX, The Willow Review, and altpoetics.