Poem by Lucien Darjeun Meadows




I am in the fridge again as Mother
Crushes the not for you into white roads
On her empty plate. These nights, home becomes

The constant threat of an electric chair,
Other mothers’ faces pulled into screams.
Our TV plays the trials, nothing else.

I keep finding apple seeds in my hair.             
I keep twisting wire from the old horse fence
Tighter around my wrists. I am grieving

My father—coal-crusted boots, the sickening
Lift when I run down the mountain too fast,
When I see a boy and think of kneeling.

In the living room, the nights’ screams begin.
Here in the fridge, I lay my head beside
A black cabbage and bite my tongue until

It bleeds. I watch my blood fall on the shelves,
The weeks-old meat, dappling all red and white
Like the fox in snow Mother ran over

A few days ago. Bleeding in the road,
His hind-legs broken, he lifted his head
And brayed as she reversed the truck, ran him

Over again. Forward and back again,
Turning up the radio. Driving home,
She laughed—Smile, there’s nothing else we can do.


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