You want me to consider the rain, I hate
it here. I want sorghum syrup coating
everything. Gin-soaked orange peels glued
inside your mouth. It is sweltering
in this airport you are wading in,
metal detectors at the opposite gate and scraping
at peony scars on your arms. You peel back
your skin every night like mud
soaked book pages. I hate it here, this year.
Your father will die still
believing his home has vanished,
replaced with old hotel walls and strangers who feed him
cake. With unfamiliar ghosts. With
hands. I hate it here, this year
your mother will bake three-layer
buttercream cakes from her wheelchair.
Bones replaced by dust. It is pouring. Dust. I hate it here.
This year he will leave without looking
back, and you will build funerals
and sanctuaries from pouring more gin,
and the sudden dispersements of your heart.
Beth Gordon received her MFA from American University a long time ago and was not heard from again until 2017 when her poems began to appear in numerous online and print journals including Into the Void, Outlook Springs, Verity La and After Happy Hour Review. Landlocked in St. Louis for 17 years, Beth has taught several local writing workshops, and is co-founder of a poetry reading series in Grafton, IL. She is also co-editor of Gone Lawn, a journal of poetry and progressive fiction.
Original photograph by Josh Hallett.