Back to Issue Thirty-Three

Welcome Home


In the kitchen is where Mama
melts me down and mixes me up
on the stovetop.

In the bedroom, I knock out
my own teeth. Mama cries —
she made those herself.

The dog is a heavy puddle lying
in the hallway. When my eyes shut
I can still hear its wet cries.

His old friends forgot about him
so Papa grew pistols for legs
and makes me watch him dance.

My brother dresses in stolen sunlight.
He presses his forehead to mine
and begs me for forgiveness.

I press my lips to the screen door.
I curl into red dirt. My broken jaw
drips salt. The cicadas scream
a song I’ve always known.


Prairie Moon Dalton is from Western North Carolina. She is a 2020 Bucknell Seminar for Undergraduate Poets fellow. Prairie currently attends North Carolina State University where she studies English and Communications.


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