A Poem by Susanna Kittredge

Places I’d Rather Be During COVID, According to My Predictive Text
I'm stranded in a bit of gray and I'm still confused.
Right now, 
I'm stuck here in the middle of aisle two.  
I'm stuck here in Waltham, in the morning, in the middle of a migraine. 
I'm stuck in my own slideshow.

I want to go to the beach, the gym, the airport.
I want to go to a show.
I want to go to a show where we can talk about the weather.
I want to go to a movie theater where we will be able to see the part about knocking on doors.

I would rather be in touch. 
I would rather be in the same room,
in the same place as a long term health care system, 
the same place as a family gathering.
I would rather be in the same place as a long dress.

I'm stranded in the middle of a big beautiful house,
in the middle of the road back to the beach.
I'm stranded in the middle of a big beautiful maple tree with my mom. 
I’m in the middle of a big Phish party in Roslindale,
the middle of a big beautiful city with a lot of people, 
in the middle of a big deal and I'm going to have a great day.
I’m in in the middle of a big city and the reception is over. 

I would like to go to the gym after the wedding. 
I would like to go to the airport and see how it started.
I would like to go to the airport with a new destination.

But right now, I'm in a very small town.
I wish I could be in a couple of the world, a couple of the country that I have been in.

I would rather be a little more out of town. 
I would rather be a few minutes late.
I would rather be a good idea than a closet.
I would rather be a good day and evening than to go for dinner at a distance.

I'd be ok with picking up a new destination or community. 
I'd be in touch with all of our guests. 
I'd be in touch with the permitting of this new system. 
I'd be ok with that shit, but I'm still optimistic.
I'd be ok with that but I'm going for sheer strength and power yoga to make sure I will be there in about a month.
I'd be more concerned about this than the first time around.

About the author

Susanna Kittredge’s poems have appeared in publications such as Barrow Street, 14 Hills, The Columbia Review and Salamander as well as the anthologies Bay Poetics (Faux Press, 2006) and Shadowed: Unheard Voices (The Press at California State University, Fresno 2014). She has an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Her first full-length collection, The Future Has a Reputation, was published by the CW Books imprint of WordTech Communications in January, 2020. She lives in the Boston area and is an active member of The Jamaica Pond Poets workshop group and the Brighton Word Factory, a bi-weekly open writing group. By day she is a middle school teacher.

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