by Shelby Dale DeWeese
THE KNOWLEDGE OF DIRT
of grapevines &
bloody knots in bassinets
man swings across the creek, baby on his back
the knowledge of salty haybales
smothering an aging border collie
flannel buttonups, red paisley handkerchiefs
the word don’t
and cigarette butts, limp frog bodies in the gravel
collecting them is our game.
I keep punching
an approximation of your body
into the memory foam, dumping
your soap into the hole.
The neighbors could always
hear us through the vents,
we knew it because we could
hear them, because they would
stop talking whenever we fought.
Now I play old voicemails from you
and talk back and wonder
if they are still listening.
Shelby Dale DeWeese grew up on a farm in the southeast United States, but currently lives and writes in California. She is an MFA candidate at the University of San Francisco, and her poems have appeared in such publications as Rust+Moth, Quaint Magazine, and Marathon Literary Review. When she’s not writing her own poetry, she and a former pirate captain encourage elementary school students to write original creative stories at 826 Valencia. Visit her online at shelbydaledeweese.com.