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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Kolarik

Car Jammed

I raise my infant son and daughter, onto the barrier.  

We look out on a sea of chrome, southbound only, flickering into the distance.

For miles forwards and backwards, engines ticking, are cars jammed for generations.

The air thickens, heavy with tar and blackberry and leather.

Yellow light spills across the slip road. Golden sunshine, all-encompassing and pure.

Heat. Like moving through wax, a million souls walk the motorway. 

I hold a hand against the glare as the asphalt shimmers, black ink pooling, turning silver grey.

Then the shift comes, transition, disorientation. Forwards, backwards, you can never be sure.

It could be purgation, or forced attrition, but you're with me again. 

This one was a turning point. Another memory, stirred, from the last time.

To hold you, to kiss you in the pagoda. I know it's an intersection, and I can't decide.

The wrong words come and I grasp the edges, time shifts and I'm back in the lanes.

Another jump, another time. The sun shrinks, then expands,  

glaring, targeted like a nuclear strike. I'm staring up from the sands, 

to where the angel hovers, sweeping down with clawed hands

as the crowd roars. I snap back to the sticky heat and petrol fumes, the lines of marching ants.

Nothing moves on the northbound side. I have tried to cross the barrier,

but the membrane is impassable. It's not a bad existence. 

I have my family, between these white lines. And if I am fortunate, when time leaps

like a salmon, shifts and convalesces, I am with you again, one way or another.


Hailing from Croydon, Andrew Kolarik spent ten years writing post-punk lyrics for live performance in London and Cardiff. He has written poetry, short fiction, and film criticism appearing or forthcoming in publications including Utopia Science Fiction Magazine, Film  International, Down in the Dirt, Carillon, Pulp Metal Magazine, Supernatural Tales, Eunoia Review, Horla, Black Poppy Review, Spectral Realms, and Yellow Mama. Outside of his  writing, Andrew is a musician and student of Vietnamese Tai Chi. He lives in Cambridge.


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