In the Hometown I’ve Tried to Love

— Jeremy Michael Clark

Remember earlier, when I showed
you around town, how all my maps were mental,

my sense of direction based on landmarks
long gone? A kind of proof, you said, of how

so clearly I’m a small-town boy, pointing out
ghosts wherever I go. In bed with you,

calm as a city just after a storm—
your eyes, two wet leaves on a windshield,

my hand, still as a stalled car in the small
of your back—I still can’t get out of my mind

the spiderwebs spun in the corners of this room,
or how this whole building’s unstable.

Years from now it’ll be condemned, reduced
to rubble, & they’ll build over it, or not,

just leave it forever an empty lot, one more
memorial dedicated to neglect. By now, you know

how most of my stories end: someone walks out
on the porch, wonders which will be the storm

that splinters the oak & brings it down on their home.

Read more from Issue No. 21 or share on Twitter.