Michelle Brittan Rosado – Window Scenes for Out-of-Town Visitors

Michelle Brittan Rosado

Author’s note: The poems in this series all use the image of a window as their starting point, some in the title itself and others more peripherally. I’ve been thinking of this symbol a lot lately — as a portal for wonder in childhood, an aperture to others’ lives during the pandemic, a view of the world outside after giving birth and spending those early days indoors. These poems may not have come into existence without the invitation to contribute to The Fresno 15, and I am endlessly grateful to the MFA program for my years there and the deep sense of community I’ve carried with me since graduating in 2011. Thank you for reading and for supporting the Larry Levis Memorial Scholarship. 

Window Scenes for Out-of-Town Visitors

Vacaville, California

The stretch of road that curves left then up then 
right and the glowing 

street lamps arranging in the rearview 
like a smiley face—the barn 

where we said the zodiac 
killer lived—the turn 

signals like metronomes—
the still cows we never touched 

with fingers past the window’s beveled 
edge, combing the wind—the smoke 

stacks of the Budweiser plant—the invisible 
radio waves from the college station breaking 

over the hills—the blur of neon fonts 
firebranding the night

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