The Mouth’s Stone House
The clocks he winds in his chest
are so simple
they must be made in his mind.
The trees that no longer reach
from behind the fence
reach inside his own body,
among the hair and bone
and the lungs. His secrets
escape in the afternoon, loud
as grasses touching each other,
or gravel turning over
onto itself, or a dog rolling on a carpet
at his feet. Standing on the cement path
at dusk, he does not touch
or want to be looked upon.
If something touches, it isn’t him.
The leaves, invisible in the dark, rubbing
against themselves. Or the breaking of rainwater
into a pipe. The taste of ice and splinter
in the still air. Darkness makes the house,
with its curtains drawn,
lights on, more stone.
Krystal Howard holds an MFA in Poetry and is currently a PhD candidate at Western Michigan University where she teaches courses in children’s literature, young adult literature, and writing. She serves as production editor for Comparative Drama and has previously served as poetry editor for Third Coast. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Barn Owl Review, Quarterly West, Tupelo Quarterly, Superstition Review, and PANK, among others. For more information, please visit www.krystalhoward.com.