House on Moss Mill Road


From here,
empty litter boxes
old Christmas decor;
the yard,
a cemetery for the clearance section at a superstore.
I knock,
holding my breath.

She opens it.
Tiny eyes look at me behind thick glasses,
long braid, sand-colored hair, squinting in the dim light
hidden behind fading curtains.

I wonder when the sun last touched her face,
surrounded by a castle of bricks: scattered,
half-buried like bones.

If I had kept going straight,
the cattails would have grazed my face,
all smiles and mud underfoot.

I know the answer before I speak, but I ask anyway.
Jersey Devil, no she says.