How strange it is to live
in a place without coyotes
to snatch terriers from their gardens,
no burgundy angst calling
like a lover from the stringy woods
behind every teenage home. Instead:
one endless, golden morning
smeared across your vision like a paint stroke.
Like feeling for a hand in the dark and realizing it’s not
dark here, was never.
I am trying very hard to fill my body
with a home I haven’t arrived at.
Exhale of a song on my neck
like an infant hot and dense in the hands,
like touching trees older than us
and wishing to see them sprout, take
There is something to the falling.
To being brave enough to fall asleep
in the passenger’s seat, whispering
thank you with all your being
to no one in particular. Elsewhere,
blue light flickers through an attic window
and I am suddenly unafraid to die.
The orange glow of your childhood kitchen
is something you carry inside you now,
the ghost of an ember.
You don’t have to feel guilty anymore.
ERIN SLAUGHTER is currently pursuing an MFA at Western Kentucky University, where she teaches undergraduate writing classes. She has been a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee, and her work can be found in River Teeth, Juked, Gravel, and the Bellingham Review, among others. She is the author of a poetry chapbook, Elegy for the Body (Slash Pine Press, 2017).