Charlotte, November 18, 2021

Eleven years ago today, at four-thirty
in the afternoon, just eighteen months
after I buried my son, I shuttered the house
my father built and drove my mother
back East, the veil over her lungs
undiagnosed, a squamous-celled secret.

She died seven months later. We hauled
her home, laid her in Kansas dirt
next to my father, a few feet
from my aunt and uncle, my grandparents.

Now, in this city’s dank and dead-leaf air,
the dogs next door worry their yard,
wear the grass thin. Untended, alone,
they bark and bark their switchblade barks,
moan their crimson moans.

Justin Hunt

Justin Hunt grew up in rural Kansas and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. His work appears in Five Points, Bellingham Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, New Ohio Review, Sugar House Review,, and many other journals and publications. He currently is working on a debut poetry collection.

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