Degeneration

By Stefi Weisburd

Featured Image: Stoke-by-Nayland by John Constable

Through the forest’s dark persistence, hugging
the relentless road, you search the inevitable
for the sad address, then find yourself paused

in front of the driveway, just
before your halogens startle the dim
windows, the porch out of joint, in that moment

before you are knotted irrevocably
to the future, to her avocado refrigerator whining
like a beast, its gullet full of Ice Age ice cream and the odd

trap-sprung mouse in a Ziploc, before the legions
of art magazines piled in solemn cairns and the Old Countries
purpling her arms, her throat’s

dry drapery and the keys to abandoned
rooms clutched
like a crucifix. In that moment

before her body slips
out of itself and she dampens the floor, before
her ears traffic in the static of her dead

father’s scolding, before her dull
doe eyes fever with fury and shadows hunch like Dante,
before she calls you “Mother,” demanding

you wipe her ass, before her heart cherries and
Tolstoys, in that moment, turned in the driveway, before
all that, back out. Gun it.


Originally appeared in NOR 4

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