Poems from

Last Nostalgia Starting with a Piece of Spider Plant on Our Car’s Backseat

You moved clippings of your childhood spider plant
with us in a Ziploc half-filled with tap water

so we could grow something once rooted in the cool
valleys of Blacksburg in our new

Houston duplex. You kept a photograph of me—
where I perch on a brick wall in Richmond, by a coal train

idling near the muddy James—tacked to the velvet
insides of your fiddle case, its interior the purple

nap of coffins. I often wonder if you made it
back to your mountain town, if your friend Sheff—

the cokehead gravedigger—is still around, if he does
bumps in his pickup as he waits

for that day’s mourners to leave, so he can jump
on the coffin to get it all the way down,

which upsets the family if they linger
and see it. And you used to say I was the ghoul,

cutting my baked potato in front of the late
blue light of my true crime shows. You know,

a woman was once found crouched in her
killer’s white mini-fridge. This was

years later: her body rigid, her expression
still perfectly intact.


reprinted from Kenyon Review Online

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