Dec 8, 2015

Self-Portrait in Needmore, Indiana

Written by Rochelle Hurt

Read by Katie Nichol

As expected, after the wedding, the house
became a cough we lived in, trembling
in the throat of that asthmatic spring.

The streets stacked and curved like fingers
on a grease-knuckled hand gripping
the waist of our Midwestern dream.

We went sun-blind inside just looking
at each other.
Death is not working—
but wanting—too hard. My father’s body
was little more than a paper bag by the day
he died and tumbled into a graveyard.

I could have died etching my name
into the glass eye of my cage—a bay
window painted with lace. The skyline
in its expanse was a farce played out each night.

Sometimes my reflection was the star
of the show. Sometimes, it was the child
clapping from her seat, so looking out
and looking in became the same thing.
Sometimes, it just rained for weeks.

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