Rural Causality

by Weston Cutter


I was in the basement among
colored piles, was where
I’d told my friends to go down and get high in instead of risking
my neighbors hating                                   from day one
their new neighbor for hosting pot smokers on his front porch,
was in the room in which I’d killed
the baby snake which’d slithered past
our house’s foundation’s security system which consists of concrete and wet Iowa dirt.
I was downstairs
because upstairs was a balloon I’d unintentionally inflated
through not speaking because I’d forgotten
balloons inflate by more than just air. I was
soap-handed + stuffing
shirts into a rapidly-filling pool and hoping, wasn’t listening
for wind or warning, wasn’t
considering how I’d left the TV tuned to some program
which was telling my absence
about a murder it would be re-enacting
which was so gruesome I should
leave the room, I was
thinking pockets
and receipts, was casting among folds for pens
and potential stains I’d left like lessons for my future self.
The rorschach of a Thursday, how god
in certain ruralities is what elsewhere
would be called weather: even without light
it’s possible to see what one believes in, hence faith. I was
in the basement when the power blew
and from the dark upstairs came Ellen’s voice, we
Marco Polo’ed to each other                                  therefore spice routes and discovery—
our hands met first then the rest of our bodies, the creation of a we in the dark—
and how forgiveness is simpler if undertaken blindly. Downstairs
clothes sat wet and unspun and the power
resurged hours later, trees still shaking
with the last twitches of storm, and
the lights which’d blinked
switchlessly off earlier reblazed sudden, appearing
throughout the dark house like a burning god
trying to tell us something.


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