After the storm returned:
We sat barefoot on the back porch,
The water whipping itself into a frenzy,
Us in our plastic red chairs.
The oak tree leaned down to us, like God observing ants in a flood,
Its shadow falling over your face,
Making roots of your feet and branches of your hands.
And we howled,
Our feet against the wet wood underneath us,
Loving this storm, from the outside in,
Tearing our lives apart like the power lines, dead like snakes in the road.
You spit and say,
At least it wasn’t our ankles they bit.
In the light of this dark, the sky swallows us
Later: we tear down the oak tree and watch the spiders pour out in waves,
Roaches veering off in every direction,
Dying in the sunlight,
Dying like their home.
A dead oak is just that–
We burn our still-wet wood on the back porch and
Dance as the house comes down.
J.E. GARRARD is a poet and horror writer from the Deep South. His work focuses on interpersonal relationships, family, and Cajun tradition/culture.