BY KATIE DAVENPORT
Those summers were the worst—
August, with the shades up but the
windows down to keep the cats from
Me, hiding, stumbling upon a pile of my
mother’s shoes, coagulated blood piling
under the skin where a toe struck a heel.
My mother’s reassurance that the lion only
comes once a month, only to find another one
in those final August days.
Me, hiding, stumbling upon a pile of my mother’s shoes,
the vacuum to my side bruising ribs,
Chris’s fist like thunder upon the door—
Those summers were the worst, with the howling
siren that reminds me of air-raids
hiding, stumbling in closets
piles of their mothers’ shoes.