May 11 ● BY Katelin Kelly
When you enter my mother’s house
it smells like dirt and sweet cotton,
peppermint maybe too. She hugs you
and you feel like crying in new ways
as the wave of her love crashes with
the weight of time and space it took
for you to arrive in her womb 30 years ago
and for you to drive the 17 hours there.
You’ve both crossed into new states of weather.
By looking at her house you would think
she holds three lifetimes of antiques,
which is correct. You would ask how
it all balances in there, delicate in its
cattywampass build. You cannot move a
thing without disturbing the lines of the
house itself. You cannot do a thing
correctly without being told she has
her own way. And since she is home
most of the time, just her, there will
be more things you’re told, because
you’re there and you feel it all over.
When you walk in the yard with the dogs
you’ll remember the dead dogs who ate
the grass and vomited it up in the same
spot where your current dog is peeing.
This is an ecosystem. This is communication
with those who have crossed over. This yard
is someone’s heaven.
There’s no iron in the water
and this makes the bourbon clear.
There’s limestone in the grass
and this makes the horse legs strong.
There’s bourbon in you
but no horse.
How old will you have to be
to drink that blood?
How much more expensive
is the horse than two fingers of Pappy?
How do you guide your love
through your hometown?
You show the love around
offering black eyed peas
and panic—the trees have
grown since you left. There
are saplings on top of old
nothing. There are bulldozed
moments that haunt back.
Do you stand in relation to the fog
or the hymn of tomorrow?
There is no relation to the previous.
There is also no way to share it.