Stopped on the highway in a mile-long bottleneck, a woman tries to make eye contact with a driver in the lane next to her, a trucker transporting rows of squawking chickens crammed in crates. Filmy beaks vie with each other, pecking at half-dollar-sized portholes in the metal boxes. The man will not look in the woman's direction. He fidgets in his seat, aware of her intrusion but not willing to acknowledge her.

Bored, she gets out of her VW bug and cracks an egg into a bowl of June sunset. Albumen and yolk congeal on the horizon in the shape of a jellyfish, tinged pink and mauve from the dipping sun. The jellyfish floats like a balloon on the far edge of sky, a counterpoint to hot feathers fanning from the sun’s flames to the west. Streaks of smoke accordion across the arc, taking up most of the available space. As the jellyfish warms its tentacles in the last embers of sunlight, car engines begin to rev, and traffic starts moving. The woman scrambles into the bug, rolling behind the flashing red lights of the vehicles in front of her. She plays African Juju music on a boom-box she keeps on the passenger seat. Playful guitar licks accompany the vista of sky smoke turning to cotton candy. She takes her eyes off the road, looks over her shoulder for a parting view of the jellyfish. It sails into eastern indigo depths. Chicken feathers float in front of her windshield. She turns on her headlights.

Christine Swint: a former high school Spanish teacher, writes poetry and short stories in metro Atlanta, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and her dog Duffy. Her poems and stories have recently appeared online in qarrtsiluni, Mannequin Envy, and the Tipton Poetry Journal.  She co-edits a poetry and art magazine, ouroboros review.
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