Early morning sun green fields
mint green Chevrolet I drove through the hills
down to the brown house beside the river
the little house of drink
where mice built colonies in the walls and scratched
in and out at will across the carpet and the bed
where we drank and slept and loved.
Bats clung to the curtains snakes rose from the well
a pox of small unpleasant
creatures a shed piled high with empty bottles
that caught the sun through the slats
green and brown, prismatic.
It was there the barn collapsed
(my friend heard it too).
Up late drinking, smoking, laughing
we ran outside and watched
the smoky dust rise up
from a pile of boards and nails and shingles.
The whole gray thing fell down, as if we had breathed on it.
If I breathe too hard I have to remember
the hairpin curve where, drunk
I swerved and speeded up, drove through a fence
into a pond where one of me died
while another of me hauled out the window
on strong arms, my lithe young body
flipped and slid down
the trunk into pond muck and weeds.
I freed myself and walked the three miles home
scratched up, sore and stoned,
fell face down at my lover’s feet
from another world
bleeding on the kitchen floor.
Copyright © 2017 Maggie Anderson
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.