Welcome Home

Prarie Moon Dalton


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 the red dirt. My broken jaw

drips salt. The cicadas scream

a song I’ve always known.