The Crossing

Passing cars used to hum
through my room like a bottle’s top
angled to a breeze. When trees
were cut, and construction pushed deer
to the street, the sound
of someone coming home made
for better sleep.

As kids, we played
among shells of new houses
built where the woods once stood,
hollering from windows, holding
invisible rifles. Our rule was:
the wider your arms, the stronger
your shot. Nobody drew a bead
on my brother prior to the signage:

the black paint of a buck’s shape
that leaps up from the ditch
when headlights flash past
the toppled post. The drivers
are slower, the number of neighbors
greater, but the road is quiet.
At night, with the window closed,
my chest turns tight. I practice
breathing, its empty spaces filling—
leaving.

Ellie Gordon is a queer writer from the Pacific Northwest who’s published poetry with The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, The Ekphrastic Review, and others. Their Twitter is @autonomousbagel.

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