Illustration: Freedom by Anna Davidchenko

By Giovanna Coppala

    driving in the car…

    I'll fold the laundry, just like I please.
    And put the sheets on, just like I please.
    And in my dreams, find sweet release.
    Ummm, and I'll be happy
    just by myself.
    Happy, oh-oh-oh.
    Happy, hey-ay-ay-ay-ay.

    --greg brown

THIS IS WHAT i sometimes notice during the winter:

the warm and cold

fronts passing through the air and the bumps you hit with people,

one minute they’re warm, one minute they’re cold, and you can’t depend upon anything except that the ground is going to be grey cold and full of salt
and dirt
and a pair of pink little mittens that tumbled in from the

and puke,

february makes me feel like my empty car with stale cigarettes in
the ashtray full of pennies and driving all over the place, trying not
to smoke, dreaming and dreaming…

this winter is dreaming of friends

all my imaginary friends ride in the car with me and i practice
different languages, go on road trips through mexico, italy, warm myself up, get excited about my fire.

i’m being who i want to be.

surrounding myself with people that i can explode laughing with, no sounds coming up.

i look in
the rearview mirror to see the crinkles around my eyes,
big teeth sticking out,

the loneliness doesn’t exist and my fiery self comes back.


then i stop at stewart’s and fill up my gas tank, smile to the clerk, chat about her sick husband, spark the toll booth guy before the bridge, head to work, park, giddy, walk into the office…
and sink down because it’s all of sudden the low moan ‘hey’,

the dull
breath through the nostrils,
bundled sweaters,
and grey parrot on the
back of the chair…

it’s winter

and my body is sweating under the wool, and i look out the window and
want to see my brown shoulders when i turn my head, and the people, my
imaginary friends are all inside somewhere.

and even with the mirror i don’t know what i look like

i miss friends,
i want friends,
i want people to come over and make videos
and help me put together my telescope and make dinner with me and drink
chocolate and dance and go out and talk to other people and sing and


to the full moon and laugh till our stomachs hurt and take pictures and
run fast over the icy sidewalks and scream so loud till we both puke in the snow banks, friends like we are five and fall on the ground and

silly silly
silly silly silly silly silly

and imaginary friends are nice like that too like the tiny one i have
that sits on the edge of my desk that i talk to and make faces at while i write, or my greek friend that i pick up in my compact standard car from the port in italy so we can go camping in sicily, or the little girl…

that is my future daughter who calls me momma and i put my arm over her when i stop fast at the traffic light …

happy happy happy happy happy happy by myself

and then i can see myself and i like myself and by myself i like and

and the cold and the snow and the salt and the sand on the curb that is
searching for the ocean too is teaching me to breath, to be alone and

and fold the laundry,
change my sheets,
pile under the blankets in the big bed and spread out because it is time

time for me,
time for you
to let go take off our heads
put them in the cupboard
bound away the heart
go away

lets go away
to different places where the wind takes us.++

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