Inside my childhood migraines the house backs up into the prismed eye of my mind
and explodes. A golden row of martial marigolds waver up the walk. There is something
discretional lacking in my vision. The screen door is precious. The lilac bush, the lushy
hush, the price of a careless walk piercing your heel. Sister’s backwards head refusing
questions about the care of guinea pigs. Mother buys blueberries for the daughter’s slow
but rising panic. Stained mouth, no hiding hunger. The nuclear family is always monogamous
when whispering itself. Father stays up too late. Daughter dresses herself as the statue of liberty
in blue and spends all night in the bathroom. Peer through a hole beneath the mirror to see Father
angling himself over the toilet. Now describe all of the toilets of your past. The night sky seen
from on top of the roof forgives nothing. It yawns and releases a fine spittle of rain crushing
the girl in her sleeping bag. Now that time is over at least she is a sheet of air. Finally you
can see the house under her. Sometimes it is in the basement or in the bare space under the eaves.
Sometimes it is in the needles in the yard and sometimes under the hydrangea where a child
defecated to avoid going inside. Don’t stop the action now because it isn’t always as bad as you
think. Sometimes it is and sometimes it sucks breath from her lips and distills it into pure indole.

Julie Rouse

Julie Rouse

Julie Rouse is the author of Boy, a chapbook published by Dancing Girl Press. A graduate of the MFA Poetry program at the University of Montana, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Anti-Heroin Chic, Arsenic Lobster, Heavy Feather Review, and decomP, among others. She is a poet and visual artist living and working in Iowa.
Julie Rouse

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