Housebroken

by Dillon J. Welch

In terms of war, we know well the family
pet will slink to the pantry, a pregnant
doe, protected from the crossfire, miserable
in the hall light. My heart hurts and all
this arguing could finally be fatal. How you
squeeze an orange reminds of a hostile
native, face-painted and wrenching
a beautiful broken heart from a split-
wide chest. Be it as it may. Weathered
you, finite in worry, flinching
from stillness, define this however
you wish. Clearing the attic
of bats. The gold standard. An exercise
in futility. We swing our limbs
a batch of pointless windmills.
Last October, Tiffany pitched a candlestick
through the kitchen window, the yard
a shrine of crabgrass and broken pane.
How often and soon we find ourselves
blowing a fuse, fierce in decision,
standing the stillest we’ve ever
seen us. O, Holly! Your derision
whitewashing the walls in the den.
O, Family, with your full moon
ankles so ready to run
to the corner and tear out
the carpet. O, constant me
and you in the midst: watch close
the warning cracks.


Dillon J. Welch is a writer from Southern New Hampshire. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Big Lucks, Gargoyle, Hobart, PANK, and other journals. He is the author of I Fall in Love with Every Attractive Woman I Meet (NAP 2013) and is Poetry Co-Editor for the online quarterly, Swarm. Find him at: http://ratrapss.tumblr.com/.

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