Plain China

Between Two Cars

by Vera Carothers · Brown University
Athens, Elle Azul Duncombe-Mills · Grinnell College

My mom with her nightly TV vigil

and my dad with his artisanal bowls

meet once in a railway car

defy fate and plant the seed for me

together, they go their separate ways

doors slam and the train goes on

they don’t track back

growing up, I knew the crack

between two cars

every once in a while a door would open abruptly

and I would feel the quiet of the corridor

vibrating in my collarbone

About the Author

Vera Carothers · Brown University

Vera Carothers is a senior studying literature in French and English. She is a poetry editor at the Brown/RISD journal, Clerestory, in which her poem first appeared. Her work ranges from poetry to lyric essay and creative nonfiction; her aspirations include traveling to Alaska, teaching English abroad, and learning to tap dance. 

About the Artist

Elle Azul Duncombe-Mills · Grinnell College

Elle Azul Duncombe-Mills grew up in Hawaii and coastal Maine. Towed along to many other parts of the world by her adventurous family, she began photography early by taking pictures of the places in which captured beauty and a glimpse of social justice issues meet. Elle’s photo first appeared in Grinnell Review.