a taste of ‘25 Miles From Here’

95 writers take on wanting to be elsewhere

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I switch from dresses to trousers. / My bulging stomach refusing / to be contained in the seams. from Periods by Mehak Goyal

… she has a steady boyfriend named Walter, also in the third grade. They hold hands and he lets her eat a full half of the slice of carrot cake his mother packs for his lunch every day. from I’ll Take Manhattan by Susmita Ramani

He could see he was in and he couldn’t see how he was gonna get out. That was one thing he got right. He wasn’t getting out. from Why O’Mara Left by Martin Phillips

Dog by dog, I repeat the moves, / help them all, shove the sled / through wet, find the missing trail from On the Race Trail by Lucy Tyrrell

Still, I’m in Mesilla in a rented room / with proud chickens / across the street from The Diego Rivera Mural in the Bar by Miriam Sagan

I didn’t text you multiple times wanting validation – that you indeed still found me attractive. from Liar by Ashton Russell

Chrome flashes, no-roots no-place to call home / just open road, a few bits of luggage slung / crumpled in the backseat; from Scenic Road by Mark Heathcote

They don’t call it Party Island / for nothing. from Morning on the Beach by Tim Goldstone

“Tea on the tongue is a blessing,” / she said, her cup cradled in thick hands from The Art of Tea by Jan Haag

I wait until the weeping subsides then dry off and douse my puffy eyes with cold water. from Beyond by Maggie Veness

Still bleary-eyed, I had decided to catch a train before sunrise, preferring to say my goodbyes in the dark, when all I am leaving behind are shadows. from Serendipity by Yvonne Clarke

To get to the sun I need to travel about 90 million miles, more or less. Nevertheless, I guess it would be too hot a destination to choose. from The Farthest and the Nearest by Marcelo Medone

My stomach a merry-go-round / My bowel containing an armed nuke, head darting / From carrots to panic from Anxiety Hit at the Community Garden by Dave Clark

Next week I’m back / Same pothole in the road from Delivery Girl by Melissa E. Wong

Suitcases, carry-all bags, hanging travel wardrobes, / plastic storage containers with fitted lids, pillows, / all jammed and crammed into the car. from An Alphabetical Error by Lynn White

I crumpled the map into a ball and threw it out the window. You slammed on the brakes. from Blurred by the Journey by Jessica Piccone

I tracked you, I trolled you, I followed you, I liked you, I tagged you, I hacked you, I obsessed over you. from Forgetting by Kathryn Crowley

“Calgary,” I tell him, “I’m heading to Calgary,” and with that he stomps on the gas, spinning the Toronado back out onto the road with one hand, from Salmon Arm by John Carnegie

So, we raised the red flag / of childish discontent, leaving crusts / for the chickens and vagrant magpies, from Bread and Cake by Edward O’Reilly

I should be flat on my back / In Henderson, Nevada, / Dreaming of the humid / East Coast summer, from Nocturne 23 by Remngton Murphy

A wind gust bustles through branches / then blasts through an open window / fluttering curtains / and slamming a door. from Saltbush Town by Rob McKinnon

She prefers to stay safely confined to spices like oregano, thyme, and maybe a little garlic. from Another Thursday, Another Taco by Holly Holt

I often lie on the bed, which I share with my two brothers, and listen to the constant sound of movement, surrounding us on all sides, even above. from Safe Islands by John E. Caulton

Mary groaned and folded her lens cloth like she was doing origami. “Don’t start me, Greg’s just as bad, if not worse. Pair of control-freaks, they set each other off.” from Breakaway by Alex Reece Abbott

We’d watch skyscrapers float above calm waves / that leave sea glass and shells, not plastic. from Even the Eco-Poet’s Wife Dreams of Florida by Marianne Szlyk

He pounded on the window / once or twice, / but not hard enough to break it, from Secured Transport by Ron. Lavalette

Suitcases, carry-all bags, hanging travel wardrobes, / plastic storage containers with fitted lids, pillows, / all jammed and crammed into the car. from March 2020 – Driving Home from Florida by Lois Perch Villemaire

‘And a good job you’re such a total …….,’ Jenny smiled tightly as the nurse handed Tom a sample jar and an adult magazine. from Future Tense by Peter Collins

Some days I pop in to have a chat with my dad who sits alone – unvisited and unvisiting – in his quiet flat waiting for better days. from Passport Not Required by Kay Sandry

“Well, you better get used to it,” she says. “I hear bad things happen to people who don’t have blue eyes.” from Safe by Hugh Behm-Steinberg