The Heroine ShamWows Her Way through a Hurricane
Our basement apartment flooded so hard it became a swamp. We squelch
through the mosquitoes, and I whisper, I am so sorry I did this to us.
Palmetto bugs fat as circus peanuts scuttle up damp walls. A gator tail
whips around in the shower; a garter snake coils in the oven. I can’t sacrifice
the stacks of books now sodden and mold-rinsed, the photographs of us
distorted by reflections in Millenium Park, notes scribbled in snow.
Everywhere we step, we splash the color of bad coffee, its smell the seduction
of suicide cab rides across a frozen lake. When we melted we became
the carpet souped in brine, walls splattered with brackish signs
of the hoarder from 2009 howling, Get me out of here! You hand me a mop
and I give you a look like, Really? I need a Jesus-sized net to catch
a break. The fissures in our youth show up on our faces. Soiled mattress
sucking up marsh-drool, tiny mushrooms breaking out in a rash: this
could be the tumor in my happiness swelling. This is my joy split wide open.
Anne Barngrover is a PhD candidate in Poetry at the University of Missouri.
Avni Vyas is a PhD candidate in Poetry at Florida State University.