We have hours yet. Our wives could bake a pie in that time, blueberry or rhubarb, fruit bubbling from the sweltering inside, brown-crusted & hot for the arrival. Instead it’s cigarettes & cards, tomato sandwiches & feeling our skin go desert. Waiting because we were told to wait, looking at nothing. Our wives would say Why don’t you mow the lawn or Maybe today you can clean the garage but domestic life feels unreachable. Our wives, they’d be fanning themselves, searching for shade. Asking when her plane would show. We’d say We haven’t heard yet & We’re still waiting & they would start to panic. We’d eat pie. Swallow down any germ of fear, quiet tic in the throat. Every so often, a static-hewn message, a woman’s voice come from nowhere like the Sibyl & just as tangled. Later our reports will read KHAQQ [Amelia]: UNHRD. KHAQQ [Amelia]: UNHRD. Twice for fact, three for witchcraft. Like our wives saying Is she really gone? Honey, is she really gone? & us saying Hush now, hush & later singing Amelia Amelia Amelia to the dark.
Casey Patrick’s poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Pleiades, The Adroit Journal, Passages North, Grist, and others. She was awarded the 2014–2015 Writers House Residency by Hub City Writers Project and currently lives in Minneapolis, where she teaches with The Loft Literary Center.