The rains are coming, so we take grain to the horses
before the river consumes and islands unhitch
from their moorings.
Have you heard our father
is dead? The pastor
who murdered his children in the barn on the hill
still weeps when I trouble the stair dust, touch the
blood-rust of his axe.
for you today, for your sweet
potato pie with bourbon, asked for his stack
of Playboys. This sackful of sand is all I’ve left
while the swelling river loosens
our bones, and no amount of fodder will rein in
I locked myself in the upstairs room at dusk,
let the hallowed chill enfold me, beholden
to the pastor’s
unholy moans. I know what you’re thinking.
Only two weeks cold, just days
in the grave. In dreams
I see you swallowed by the new
moon, a bitter sacrament, mother’s gelding
sweat-drenched and white-eyed beneath you.
Father’s breath stopped
started again. Just remember to heal
each cut you make, leave a trail of grain
to let me know you’ve made it.
I’ve set a fire
in the barn, left a door to disappear through.
Father closed his eyes
when the year was new born.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 14, Issue 1.