empty lot appropriate
solo-solemn doorstep lays
a scar a tombstone
marks the space of my earliest sorrow with the greatest reach
hallway closet my mother’s majorette costume sparkles
I sneak it on my body
feels like a golden trophy in a case
then dining room large
where Christmas Stretch Armstrong, X-Men, Batman
line the walls in their packaging punch of irony
heroes where I know best loss and fear
to the left, kitchen;
adjacent living room.
right, a hallway I can’t imagine lit
bedrooms parts of me still cower
and a bathroom
forgettable except for narrowness
once there were puppies born—Bailey
a stolen beagle puppy I mourned for months
sexual awakening I mourned for
what day is it?
the first HIV test came summer 2010
first breath a relief four days later
Nathan Holloway is a poet, photographer, and composition instructor living in rural Arkansas and documenting the experience of being rural, queer, and southern. You can find his work forthcoming in The Esthetic Apostle or on Twitter @unnatural_state.