Antecedent
by Corrie Lynn White


You see a red house and wish it were a barn,
wish both doors would open to a bed of hay—
a feast of hay. In this city, you’ve collected your strewn

pieces only to shake them loose again.
And you go into the suburbs, the boutiques,
the one way roads and keep turning right.

You must be close. But you find yourself living
in a camper, eating from plastic wrap and micro-
waves, wishing for your wife and child and that silent

fight for tomorrow’s money. She’s giving her
soft body to another—she’s putting your girl
to bed and not weeping to Patsy Cline or Chopin

when the house sits so full of quiet. You’re out
of George Dickel and the window at your table looks
out to a dead fire. Last night, you roasted tomatoes,

onions, and garlic like your mother said a home
should smell. You go to work. You find what’s wrong
under the hood of the cars. You’re back by dusk

when your neighbor releases a balloon into the sky
for target practice and the children squeal at the shot
but keep jumping on the trampoline. Everyone

will go inside—their backs to their doors—and wonder
what kind of secret heaven’s keeping when
what’s supposed to float, falls.






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