he will stand over you with a pillow to hush you out.
he will tell you to sell your show horse,
because he knows what happened in Michigan—
and horses remind him of dead horses,
the head, the hooves, the silver stopwatch buried
and the body dragged to burn.
the cupboards empty.
the cupboards fill
a year of sleeplessness.
collapse to your knees. there are handsaws. there are shovels here.
meet him in the caves and he is red cut to collarbone.
still— he will kiss his way through Appalachia and moonless timber, stride out into Kentucky.
there is a part of you looking straight at him and the rest of you is trying to look away—
it is early May and someone is singing
Jill Mceldowney is the author of Kisses Over Babylon (dancing girl press 2016). Her work can also be found in journals such as Vinyl, Fugue, Corium, Ghost Proposal and other notable publications.