My Backyard

She is a house. Her house is a trailer. She is angry and wears dresses for pregnant women: dresses that make her look fat—like a house.

They pull plugs out of the wall-sockets and do not put them back in. The lights go on, off, on. The lights stay off. They cheer and hug and hold hands. A frog-like child writes slogans, but they are spelled wrong.

‘What has happened?’ She asks, her dress has holes in it. The insects look like queens in the dark and she lets them come to kiss. The Luna eye—the eye of ants—is victimless: I have seen glowing hands on the ants, she whispers—whispered, dearth. She is weak and will not have children.

‘What has happened?’ She asks again, audible now. The red eyed turn. ‘We are on strike.’ They say. ‘Strike?’ She asks. She looks at her dress and holds the hem. She returns to her house. The screen door is on the front lawn. Next to the washer, and her mother. He eats ice cream on the couch, his shirt is unbuttoned. ‘You are trash.’ He says.

She is a house.

The first month is a snowstorm. She shows afternoon swells, urine spits develop the pimpled thighs, and the waste. The waste is too much. The house smells, she crouches—holds the hem of her dress. The panics take, turn her stomach thin. The house is a trailer. He eats on the couch and does not move.

Blankets, child?
They are iced marble balls. She leaves the backdoor open and tricks a homeless man into suicide: here, she says, and smiles and dangles. The hunted man skins his fingers in the walls of a coffin and suffocates. It isn’t really suicide.
Get in the box.

There are four of them. There are four boxes in the basement: her father, her grocer, her plumber, her homeless man. Her mother is still in the front, on top of the washer. She greets her when the ins and outs of the office became vicious, base. The yellow afternoon prey.

There are four boxes in the basement. In the after hours, after the spells twist into the wakefulness dread, she cuts the corners of the hall rug and disappears into the basement, cuddles on the top of the boxes.

She was caught once. When she tried to grip the ends of the hose. It was spring. Outside was yellow and loud. She had wrapped a scarf around her head, masked it with the invoiced lessons of the lord, the prophet, the televangelist. But the boxes began to drip with the decomposed. The hard wood softened. The father, stripped and beaten by the whores in the back alley of a village in Brazil, went first.

The smell of her fits, her swells, her howl—her urined spit: damn you, woman.

‘I am not mad.’ She says, wry: contentment, coddle-me. The airplanes in the airport continue to take passengers to Brazil. It is not Brazil. The passengers come back from Brazil. It is not Brazil. It is simple to be afraid of the whores. Her father’s hand splits his wooden crate. The box collapses.

She is a house.


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