6220 Camp Street
The morning of the strange wind,
I opened tin cans,
scooped chicken livers into pie plates. The city
emptied of trumpets, neon,
loaves of bread. All around me,
a shotgun of nails. I unpacked boxes
of tempera, acrylic,
When the oak fell across the lawn,
I sat in the hallway and drew
its chalk outline. The city
became soft, there, dark
water slashed across paper. I counted
shed claws in the red rug,
rubbed whiskers with my thumbs.
When the light rose again, its bright splinter
cracked every surface: broken
window, the street
a canvas of roof tiles.
I filled my pockets
with black slate, these chipped
relics. In my hands, I painted this
ruin into a strip of starlight,
slash of half-moon. For days
there was nothing but oil smears, gloss
of orange, my cat-circled shins. On a napkin,
I watched water turn each greenburst, pop
of blue into shredded leaves, mold-blooms, a buried sky.
The Wishing Tomb
Copyright © 2012 by Amanda Auchter
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission