ISSUE NINETEEN: Stymy A Seller | next poem →

After a Hurricane

Jeni De La O

things grow in cracks
                                         like                      howling dogs
                                         at the edge of memory;
a rift,
not quite worked out:
                                         mustard baked in the sun,
                                        bathing in cold water,
                                        plywood on the windows—
sneezing skeletal houses,
weeping black eye windows,
gap-tooth belly-laugh blocks of:
                   house, half-house,          , house,           , half-house, rubble,            ,            ,            , rubble, half—
Raspberry seltzer; living in the heat of stopped traffic.
Voices over rubble, tumbling.
Climbing creaky stairs:
                                                      always wet concrete
                                                      fresh sawed lumber, its shavings
                                                      hot pink fiberglass stacked in rows
                                                                                                  and rows of tents and piles
                                                                                                                        and piles of
                                                                                                  left-over life:
                                                                             canyons of wedding photos
                                                                 mountains of plastic fire trucks,
                                                       a vinyl record, Fiddler on the Roof.
                                        hills and valleys of blankets soaked in

slow, creeping, urgent mold,
swallowing     everything,
                  everything and everyone
                  and everything
                   that left us.

Jeni De La O is a poet and storyteller living in Detroit. Her work has appeared in Obsidian, York Literary Review, Rockvale Review, Gigantic Sequins, Eastern Iowa Review, Rigorous Magazine and others. Jeni founded Relato:Detroit, the nation’s first bilingual community storytelling event, which seeks to bridge linguistic divides through story. She is a Poetry Editor for Rockvale Review and organizes Poems in the Park, an acoustic reading series based in Detroit

ISSUE NINETEEN: Stymy A Seller | next poem →


Holly Lyn Walrath
   Orbital Debris

Jane Akweley Odartey
   From a Platonic Angle

Jeni De La O
   After a Hurricane

Tam(sin) Blaxter
   Earrings (Yves Saint Laurent, Paris)

Amy Poague
   The Beforeworld: Riding the Bluest Line
      Through an Archive of Sky

Chris Winfield

Amie Zimmerman

Jill Khoury
   chronic lyric i

Kevin Casey
   Right of Way