AFTER THE FLOOD
A banjo takes place in a hayfield,
plucks a dirge that out--West Virginias
everything: mountain lines, big box
dulcimers, reverse smugness. What
you lack is paycheck, says desolation.
A good rifle. Hand-me-down hurt. Aunt
Linda twists my ear into a stereotype.
I kick plain dirt, drive a mauve jalopy
past the Bingo Hall of Belonging. Do
I stop at the edge of Matewan, empty
my duffel of heat, coal, and light? Do
I win a stuffed dream in a claw machine,
then work, then barely sleep? Yes, and
yet. It's blue for miles in a poverty of clouds.
Marit Ericson's recent work appears or is forthcoming in L.E.S. Review, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Forge Journal, and Handsome Journal. She lives and writes in New Jersey.