We find it dark and glowing, hidden
among swollen mounds of pine needles
near a weedy bank lined with cattails
and the fallen branches of a blackgum.
Together, we stand in the smothering heat
as wind thrums through the reeds.
One of the boys strikes a match
against his belt buckle. The air hisses.
The other bends to the ground,
picks the revolver from the dead leaves.
He presses it against the sky.
It flickers in the sun.
My brother’s hands cup my ears
as sunlight ricochets through the trees.
What I want most is you
gone, to hear each splintered board
creak beneath you
as you drift across the porch,
keys jingling in your pocket,
the exhaust from your pickup
rising like a voice.
No wonder, after you’ve left,
I spend my day wandering
the house, picking up
the pieces of your words?
No wonder, after you’ve finally gone,
I sit for hours on the porch
watching your footprints
fill with rain.
* * *
Chris Tusa is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. He now teaches at LSU. His first chapbook, Inventing an End, was published by Lone Willow Press. His first full length book, The Drowned Light is currently under consideration.