The Body on the Interstate


Body on the Interstate1The Friday night Atlanta traffic jam

on the I-75/I-85 connector confused us,

me pumping the brakes among hundreds

of cars trickling by like a chorus of motors.

Loudly silent along the organ pipe skyline,

we all saw it, head to toe, horizontally covered

in a sheet, an arc of police cars as its shield.

I assumed it was a man: he might have been

wide-eyed, finding Orion’s belt pin cushioned

in the December sky. We got to the party

late, you saying at the red light as we exited,

That’s why you gotta wear a seatbelt.

Later, I pulled you into the kitchen, away

from the noise, hid between you and the wall,

touched the parts of your throat where the skin

sank effortlessly into a steady pulse.


Paige Sullivan is currently an MFA candidate in the creative writing program at Georgia State University, where she also serves as the new poetry editor of New South. Her poetry appears in or is forthcoming from Mead, Lines + Stars, Sugared Water, Naugatuck River Review, and others. Her prose and reviews appear in or are forthcoming from Rain Taxi, Bluestem Magazine, and the blog Epicure & Culture.