Small House Poem by Phoebe VanDusen

photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen

In this small house amphibians are good
at dirty talk and bad dreams come true.
Men are not allowed but men are often
bad dreams. A foal is bleeding out
on the pool table. The only rules
are there are no rules, love-mes
and love-me-nots ricochet against
the walls. In this small house men
turn into cuckoo clocks. The big kids
shoot up and shut up. Outside
small house a man stains his daughter’s
sheets. But in this small house I take
no prisoners. Our scales will scald
you and our quam-less blood glacial,
we will not stutter as we tear you
limb from limb. In this small house
the TV is always on, toddlers ride
the rottweiler. I found a lost lover
hidden in the attic, a meth lab, a mistress
covered in blood and glass. There’s a perverted
children’s book and loaded gun on the mantle

Phoebe VanDusen is a poet and bookseller from Brooklyn, NY. Her poems have been published in or are forthcoming from The Nervous Breakdown, Hey I’m Alive, Eunoia Review, and elsewhere. She received her BA from Bennington College in 2019. instagram @bacon_phatt

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