There Was a Walk

there were nails
and whisky floors naked
my face split against the tile
if he wasn’t passed out
he would hold me down
and spit on my daring
to ask him to move his car
so I could go to school

or he’d leave me across the city
because I talked to a guy
six hours later walk up
to see him fucking in the kitchen
with the lights on

///\\\

I’m the only one to ever leave him
or I told him to get out the morning
he didn’t believe
I wouldn’t call him back

he did leave me
for several
and came back
to his bed I slept in

I did call him back
for our cat to die
and be buried with his feather
but I can’t remember where
or how he left again

///\\\

there was a walk
back to the trails we made
behind the river
tried to be seventeen
and walk the road between our farms
where it was always night
and he always had someone
but only talked to me
lying on our backs by the fire
down by the shanty I built
with trees still alive
and I lived there for years
except winter
alone with white
lab

///\\\

there was a walk
him, back fifteen feet
us, born fifteen days apart
not a fortnight
houses a mile
and one step apart
same name, different gender
not exactly aligned
not perfectly waxing moon
Cheshire cat grin
at what the eyes can miss
when you see with the echoes of your feet
and you never learned beds

///\\\

there was a walk
him, silent
and a field of bats
chasing my
okay, he’s the guy I’ve known all my life
we were the perfect couple
says my dad
the only time he reached for my hand
meaning, his family’s been here
since before the swamps were drained
and before that, in the Black Forest
my family came from
and moved into trees
when you didn’t have to cut them down
to live in them

///\\\

there was a walk
of bats chasing my
okay, maybe men are just like that
and if I hadn’t taken women’s studies
if I hadn’t taken writing
and sat in front of red hair
and a green ink skirt and brilliant windy kindness
and was told my poem gave her chills
my poem of Price
my sister I lost because she loved him too
yet he followed me
and if I hadn’t started talking loud enough to hear
maybe

///\\\

but there was a walk
him, creepy as all get out
and I could actually tell for once
and we sat down and smoked
my Lab-Pit rolling on his back
the German Shepherd-Lab wagging her whole body at him
and he said he couldn’t sleep
without me
that he was coming back
tonight

and I said

nothing

and nothing

and nothing

he left
and she howled against me
though he wouldn’t feed her
or pet her
or spend a grand to save her life
or look back at her
when she screamed


duckface - amy joAmy Jo Trier-Walker is a tree and herb farmer in Indiana and the author of a chapbook, Trembling Ourselves into Trees, which is forthcoming from Horse Less Press in 2015. Her work can also be found in or is forthcoming from Forklift, Ohio, Handsome, LEVELER, A Bad Penny Review, Word For/Word, Timber, and Ilk, among others, and she is the Poetry and Art Editor at Black Tongue Review.

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