when it was hot enough so that the sounds from the insides of the houses leaked onto the streets
he came back. The paint on the door of the shed
was running, so when he went to unlock it
that morning, the key stuck. The road had bunched
around his ankles as he walked here in the hot night,
and the sides of the road had curved
around to meet behind him. Whenever he stopped,
there was a sharp dip, a burning pinhead
that knotted the road threading through him. After,
back near town, he had found all the little dogs
from the rug shop lining the river’s edge, all gnawing
a deer’s hind leg he had seen on his way out before.
It had been caught in the tight split of a short tree.
The leg was whole and the hip joint had dried
hard and yellow where it had been ripped clean.
next door to the empty house
Sylvia is cooking eggs for her boarder
to eat that night. They spit at her from the stove
when she goes to the pantry behind
the dryer clogged with lint
to get at the mushrooms and flour
she’ll use to thicken it, so her boarder won’t
be hungry later, when she’ll be out,
over by the bridges where the fine silk
factories are that slope into the river, heavy
with dead birds. She’d shaved her boarder
that morning–the tap was running cold
(the man upstairs was boiling
the breakfast things for his potato-fed wife),
so while they’d waited for the water heater
to catch up, they’d sat with their feet in the other’s lap
at the counter. His lip is split and swollen and hardening
under the milk and sugar of the coffee. He licks it.
His eyes are huge and hot and when his mouth opens,
she can see the tooth screwed into the roof, small and gummed over.
Later, after she’s soaked the back of his neck, she asks
him to hold his hair out of the way. Some comes out
in his hands and a tick falls onto the breakfast table.
chloe andree is alive and well and transitioning out of New Haven. She wants to be able to spread her eyes, ears, and nose more evenly over her body. She does not want anything to happen to your senses, or for you to think that her writing has been cultured. Please talk to her sometime.