Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pieces of Home by Mitch James


It's left holes in me
Like my mother's blanket--
Riddled with hard, black circles
Where cigarettes have burnt through
Again and again.

My brother's 15.
He says:
"She caught her hair on fire the other day."
He laughs.

I stare at the dull orange of half-empty pill bottles.

My father spends his morning rounded about the shoulders,
Folded like a miser over money,
Rolling cigarettes as fast as he smokes them.

It'd been a year since I seen my father.
When I came home not a syllable was spoken.

Two days later
He said:
"I haven't hugged you yet. I'm glad you came home."

He felt too small to be a father,
Like squeezing a leather bag of tools.

And what now,
A poem?

The alphabet is too small
In all it's combinations.

Mitch James was born and raised in Central Illinois, where he received a BA in English with a minor in Creative Writing from Eastern Illinois University. Mitch currently lives in Pennsylvania, where he completed his Masters Degree in Literature from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He's had fiction and poetry published in such journals as Westward Quarterly, The Vehicle, Foliate Oak, decomP and others.

Street art by Least Wanted. You can find his book here.
Photo by Adam Lawrence.

Brooklyn's Rubblebucket will release their new album Omega La La on June 7th.

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