by Rebecca Schoff

The rain slap leaves down out the trees,
Faulkner liked to dawdle that way,
with five thin hounds at his heels, barking
up the crippled back porch, puddling
water off the warping boards into the summer kitchen.
Southern comfort is supposedly pause, flavored with julep,
but it's a different ease, in that constant motion.
Midstorm, an exaggeration of Spanish moss
swings heavily against the house like a swish
of morbid skirts on a spinster aunt.
That's really what he hears,
still coated, stooping over the study desk.
A drop of rain slips off
and pats spidery veins of ink into paper.
The delicacy send tendrils rising to clarity
in the dry lamp warmth.
The slender scrape of cypress
across the shutters is the rasp
of dry bones covered over in a lady's throat,
and now they bare, like to see right through.

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