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Place Like Home

ISSUE:  Spring 2017

I was asked to show up with a side dish. I made
A slaw of my longing. I had to keep it crisp. Nothing goes

Bad in a backyard, if you catch my drift. In a
Backyard everything is available like a catalog

World, viz.: I carried a plastic basket of fluffed
Clean clothes propped on one hip as if

A small, outdoor-fresh child. Time it takes
To smoke a 100, I’ll’ve forgotten the second

Of three friends gone. Dry-skin sky. Heartless jolt
Of a lawnmower kicking forward into gear. Wind

Punch at a pinned-up line of blue bedsheets so to
tell us about What’s Coming. Porch chimes aren’t

As dumb as you think they are. Oh bright laundry:
I like it when my stomach feels starved

For home. Hands trolling the dirty
Dishwater for lost forks. Facts:

Straw is to heartless body as I lied when I said I hope
I’ll see you all again is to Come home. I like a lot of you

Most of the time, but I got my favorites. Don’t matter
Which bricked world I thought I was living in,

The dog had his name, at least. The scarecrow was only
Ever called Scarecrow. Wind swing a backyard gate

Left open so to tell us about What’s Gone.
Heart is to lost laundry as—Q: What if

I don’t need to borrow any more boys’
T- shirts for bed. What if I’m already stuffed. Still,

Those were the days, though, I tell you what! The way
I made a sky-blue gingham of my teenage years…

Before sleep, I like to think about all those snaking roads, &
The band geeks not wearing their seatbelts, & the prom-

Fluffed girls like sugar roses on grocery-
Store sheet cakes, floating up the ladders

Of small-town watertowers to graffiti
Their triumphant 1989, sloppy in the flashlight

Moon. Oh sugar roses, I didn’t even want to say that
Part about the moon, but we’re all going down together.

When I didn’t know what to make, I made
Breakfast. Chimes are to sorry as the secondhand

Smell of gasoline is to a twelve-year-old
Saturday morning. I want

To buy all the trucks parked for sale
In all the front yards in Virginia.


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