Dick is born first. Then Irene, then Julie.

After a tornado takes the barn roof off,

grandfather goes out to pick up the pieces.

Grandmother stays inside, & Shirley &

Denny & Ted are born. Neighbors begin to

send old dolls, & grandmother sets them in

the attic, naked & pink, going to sleep when

laid horizontal. When Pete is born,

grandmother has to put him in a dresser

drawer; a piece of tape on it says Pete. One

day a storm comes & sprays the house with

hail. Grandmother sneaks outside & finds

grandfather. They pretend to be rich, ankle

deep in pearls. They laugh, & when the hail

gets bigger & falls harder they laugh more

& more. The broken barn laughs. The cows

inside laugh. The dolls in the attic wake up

& laugh. My mother laughs in the womb.



The first time my mother divorces him, my

father moves out, onto the roof. He takes

only his record player & copy of the 1938

radio play War of the Worlds with him.

Every night the Martians land & kill us all.

He comes down eventually & my mother

lets him back inside. He continues to play

the record, though, & sometimes he still

warns me: whenever the aliens take

something, their world gets bigger & yours

gets smaller.



Certain things like sugar emit light only if

you squeeze them a certain way. We stand

in a dark closet & gum up our pliers with

candy, seeing one another in the special

light. You're beautiful! That was a big one!

The crushed candy drift rises to our hips &

we start freezing to death. Just one more

time I say. I miss my wife you say.



He is dressed according to his last written

wishes—work clothes, Velcro shoes. At the

ceremony people I've never seen add things

to the coffin—some wrenches, a medal.

They tell stories of him being competent at

work, compassionate during their struggles,

drunk & jovial on Christmas. Each tells

their story of him & agrees that that's the

kind of man he was. Contorted by the labor

of pity, a parade of faces tells me it won't be

the same around here without him. Then it

fades to a sex scene. That's what I have so


Jon Boisvert is a writer, teacher, and musician living in Portland, Oregon, USA. His prose poems have been rejected by PANK, La Petitie Zine, White Whale Review, and many other fine publications. His chapbook, The Green Songs, was also rejected by very respectable presses, though he has received constructive feedback, and is working on the manuscript..