(an ode to Utah County)
take me to the land
of fry sauce
and funeral potatoes.
take me back
to mountain cradles,
sashaying cottonwood trees,
take me down skinny streets
where all the houses look the same,
matching church steeples
on every corner.
let’s head to the crusty burger king
on timpanogos highway
where i made my first $8.50—
when the high school kid
tells you the icee machine is broken
and gives too many quarters,
i’ll smile and know
that some things never change.
drive me to the sticky-shoe theater
on main street (you don’t
want to know where it got its name),
let’s get overpriced popcorn
and suckers for two.
take me to magpie city,
take me where people are polite,
until they aren’t.
until i mention my transgender girlfriend
or my fascination with tarot cards.
let’s cruise down the highway,
passing tacky logos on buildings
and letters above foothills,
let’s breathe in the polluted air,
try not to get sidelined by the texting drivers,
let’s count the billboards addressing our state’s opioid addiction.
let’s park at the pond,
and trick ducks with pebbles,
and watch the sun get enveloped by
as it does,
maybe i’ll mention that time
i asked you
if you thought i’d ever leave,
and you laughed,
“i think you’ll stay here forever.”
Corey J. Boren is a junior at Utah Valley University with an unabashed passion for pop music and Oreos. He loves storytelling through both poetry and prose forms, and has been previously published in Touchstones, Warp & Weave, and Riggwelter. When not writing, he’ll be found ranting about obscure historical events and drawing bad doodles in expensive sketchbooks. To see more of his work, visit @coreyjborenpoetry on Instagram or @BorenPoetry on Twitter.