Meet me at the water hole means wear your shortest skirt. Deerwoods means any acre of land with a shade tree. Tree stand means Wild Turkey breath means double-check your double-barrel’s safety. Fish fry on Friday means no work ‘til sundown Saturday. Sunday school means church bus means blow job beneath your backpack. Cousin means half your classmates. Brother means bullet to the brain if you cross him. Daddy means half-drunk, cook your own dinner tonight.
Self-Portrait with Melodrama
I fogged my car’s back windows for entire teenage summers—the humidity of our late night noises suffocated our senses—only a stone’s throw from the headstones of nearly every old person I ever watched wilt. Years later, the dandelions up to their necks in floodwater, I fishtailed through the gravel to the brush in the bend—it barely left a scrape on the skin of the car—and when I reversed my trajectory to find the way home the rearview mirror only showed rows of graves.
Heather Cox is the founding editor of Ghost Ocean Magazine and the chapbook press Tree Light Books. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in [PANK], Mid-American Review (Editors' Choice, 2012 Fineline Competition), Front Porch, Boxcar Poetry Review, Jabberwock Review, Whiskey Island, and elsewhere, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. A Luminarts Fellow, Heather lives in Chicago and can be found online here.