By Victoria Brockmeier
it dreams in heat. it dreams in orange flame.
quarried; bared. limestone mines gnaw out
the ground on three sides: behind, a cemetery thrusts
into the air. a century stirs in the ground, more, bones
shifting from their bodies’ original lay, webbed moulder
breathing itself down, & smaller. for an instant the house
looks whole, square, lit from within
as if by electric light. but its paint has shredded
from wood aged gray; its roof
sags, broken to muleback by fire then weather.
how much longer can it stand, deedless. how many
long droughts, how much ice splitting its joints. tornados
twisting by a mile off, or less. shreds of weak light
knocking around inside, shaking at its beams & bursting
rotted floorboards from below. the highway growling
into its cellar, the cellar wrestling that growl
around & back. when there’s rain
it blackens the boards all over again, raises slime
& fattens splinters. holes for windows
gape, blank as if shutting out winter; snatches
of sky, headlights shoot back dully
from what chinked glass remains.
they want something more to cut into pieces.
VICTORIA BROCKMEIER will join University of New Orleans-based poet John R.O. Gery in a Dove|tail chapbook press reading at 6 p.m. Thursday at Sweetness 7 Café, 220 Grant St. Her first book of poems, “wmy maiden cowboy names” won the 2008 T.S. Eliot Prize and was published by Truman State University Press. A 2012 UB Poetics Program Ph.D., she edits the poetry journal Lumn and is at work on a critical manuscript, “Apostate, Sing This World Forth: Avant-Mythopoetic Encounters with Doubt, Chaos and Community.”