it’s the same as any town, really.
there’s a waffle barn sign on the right side of the highway.
a teenage quarterback was once arrested for assaulting a running back
with one of his sneakers. every fall the rice fields burned,
and we trick-or-treated with sweatpants
under our princess skirts.
once there was a flood. we piled
in the mazda and spent a week crowded with my cousins.
when we got back, the shopping mall
was completely underwater. I wanted our house submerged too,
practiced sinking in our bathtub like an anchor.
one summer I spent hours digging holes in the sideyard
and reluctantly re-covering them. every time I loved someone new,
I kept it a secret. I lit matches and held them
until they burned me. once a bat got into the house.
my mother claims we laid on the floor of the living room
together, watching its tiny shadow. I remember it different:
my parents’ voices muffled, every window and door swung open,
sliding down the slick wood hallway in socks
to capture the wild, fluttering thing or go with it.