Eunice, NM

Join The Dillydoun Review in celebrating National Poetry Month with

A Poem by Emerson Kurdi

Eunice, MN

deposits her seeds each fall
among barren fields, eager
the sticky cotton coating and crude oil
will fertilize her children better than the
beer and liquid meth mixture she’s
been manufacturing for years.

This May on graduation day,
goddammit, the crop is greasy
rooted, shriveled – again.
So, once more, the black-robed children
beam across the makeshift gymnasium
stage, and she bestows freedom
with a yellow-toothed smile,
and cheap diploma cardstock.

Before my brother and I disappeared,
Eunice whispered about the inhabitants
of old Nancy’s Salon. My mother
tried to color its grey roots
and trim the ends into a home,
but the bristly and rasping doormats
she chose for living room carpet
skinned more knees
than she ever kissed.

The neglect looked like dead
guinea pig crosses
guarding the front lawn,
and an abandoned Bowflex jungle
gym in the bedroom corner
that watched us sweat
out innocence in our sleep.

Each night before we left, Eunice breathed
tension into the midnight fog,
which lowered like a wet blanket
onto the squeaking whines and snarls
from the neighbor’s pit bulls.
Across the fence and the porch,
the dog man’s crooked teeth, illuminated
only by a lit cigarette,
was the only supervisor to our night games.
My baby brother and I blew
away from the Autumn swill
with the wind and germinated
elsewhere. But, our hometown
blood is still oil-slick,
and our teeth still rot
in our dreams.

Emerson Kurdi is a Master’s Student at Texas Tech University, studying Poetry. He is originally from Allen, Texas and spends his time training his dogs, playing guitar, or hanging out with his friends on a restaurant patio.

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