Emily T. Smith

The Last Frost of the Year

Of course, it’s cold. We live
in a metal box. But this blue chest—
mess of aluminum unhitched
on its acre—this is not my home.

I do not know this window,
shadow box for the drained
propane tank, chained
like a rust-speckled sow,
her pilot-light blown.

Not even the living room
diorama: the shallow ditch
your guitar case makes,
a porcelain cup—several fleas
drowned at the bottom.

I am not your mother. I will not
drive to town to get you.
I am not your ex, corn-fed,
hot liver for dinner.
There is no meat
on my bones, no fat
around my heart.

When I make a fire, I bake
a brick. I let the dog in,
dribble the sad stump of pipe
all night into the tub—rust
gurgling down its flat chest.

The moon is a piece of soap.
I prowl and wait for the sun
to push it down, drown it
in the cloudy bathwater of daylight.

The dog licks wet sand from
your tracks and I eat the gaining
sunlight, eggs, cream, honey, pork.
I eat the wasp right off the spoon.

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