Tara E. Jay


Our home on top of cinderblocks

and some animal underneath wakes me


when it steals out        nocturnal through

the tears in the skirting           I can see


it grinning,       its hands.

Tornado sirens ring       the air all spring


useless to us, mocking

no basements,    no cellars. Mom bluffs


that the bathtub’s safe, dry:

she tucks us in.




To stay indoors

too long          means peeling


back the wallpaper for the sharp

tongue of glue beneath:


put me             in the corner and I go just

cross-eyed.        I shift my weight


I hum  humming siren            I sing     

to myself on the swing set


to the pattern of the poles        slamming

aluminum back down              down

on the downswing                    and I sing


country songs I know               from the radio

the ones about lightning    

                                                wild horses

Tara E. Jay is a poet from Indiana, currently living in the metro Detroit area. Recent work can be read in Nashville Review, BOAAT Journal, Whiskey Island, The Journal, and elsewhere. She grew up in trailer parks.


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