from "Like Nebraska"

He speaks like a slow evening,
Some deep warm and nowhere-to-be.
She is memorizing his words—
    threshold, cairn, conduit, kiln—his lilt.
After the storm, the woodpile is wet,
And they break apart a rotting ladder
From beneath a stairwell to burn.
Horns of the drowsy steer downhill
Glint like a pistol tucked into a stranger's belt.
Faults in the drywall, in the bannister, black mold
Along the foundation in the farmhouse. A myth
The workers whispers: how beneath
The house someone's shovel once found
An apothecary bottle, a woman's glove, a shoe.


Copyright © 2019 Sophie Klahr. This poem originally appeared in Poetry Northwest, Winter & Spring 2019. Used with permission of the author.