I wake to midnight fog, to lizard smoke,
your sleepwalking body in front of me, a suitcase
in each hand, you say carry the dogs and don’t
look back no matter what you hear. There are things
I need to do in Mississippi.
You spread
your fingers like prayer, like the newest sea
turtles shedding birth membranes and tell me how you carried
spent hens ten at a time, upside down, their pulsing feet
clasped between finger and finger and two between
finger and thumb.  These will taste good with ginger.  You say
you earned two dollars for cutting cemetery grass and five
for every grave you dug four feet down, not six you say,
or you might strike forgotten coffins like oil, a gushing
of decay that climbed into the sky where it never
belonged. I learned young not to drink that snake
I say I’ll follow you anywhere with artificial
bones in my suitcase, bubble wrapped and sanctified, they will
set off no alarms, you say the furnace is a murderer, bloated
and enraged, escaping from cellar walls.  Don’t walk
 outside alone tonight, you’ll never make it home.

Bio Photo - Beth Gordon 8.21.17.jpg

Beth Gordon is a writer who has been landlocked in St. Louis, Missouri for 16 years but dreams of oceans daily. Her work has recently appeared in Quail Bell, Into the Void, Calamus Journal, Five:2:One, and others. Twitter: @bethgordonpoet.