Like The Men in My Family
by Nadine Hitchiner
He stood with cotton like you would in a bathroom,
dipping seam into fabric,
like my grandpa would douse a swab in Carmol
and dab it on my forehead.
He stood and weaved a glove before work, and one after.
Behind the field there was a road like there would be behind light,
like there would be to a picture.
And if we took the road, we drove in an old Honda.
And if we drove in a Honda,
there was mother’s perfume beneath the throttle,
there was a B&B, too, where on its roof was a telescope,
and I could watch the darkness.
He said, the night has a long way to fall, like it wants to persuade the heart.
And he continued to place woodworms
in the telescope like you would clean a wound, or build a star.
In the room, there would be a pillow under the gun
like a fly would be a fly
at first and spark fire at night. He stood there next to the pillow
like a safehouse, about to be abandoned,
took the bullets leaving the barrel like you would a scarf. He said, you used
to hang upside down from a branch and the world
looked so much like it does now. He said, here. I have some silk-
worms to nest in your barrel, handing me his prosthetics, gap-less
and white. And if I remember correctly,
I remember it like you would pour milk from a bull.
Nadine Hitchiner is a German poet and author of the chapbook Bruises, Birthmarks & Other Calamities (Cathexis Northwest Press, 2021). She was a Best of the Net and a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has been published in Red Ogre Review, Anomaly, The Lumiere Review and others. She lives in her hometown with her husband and their dog. Find her on twitter: @nadinekwriter