Poem of the Week: Three-Mile Boy by Kamden Hilliard

We stumbletouch in the dark, or rather, the getting-dark, the way

I already know how we, will end. Headlights brush our blunt bodies.

The yard: bruised bottles of vodka strangle bluebells, two pairs of shoes,

one punching bag. After a montage of latex and rhythmic flailing

a lock clicks, brakes squeak—we come up for air:

      oh fuck                  he says                         i think my dad is                                      home 

          put your shirt                              on                 grab your shoes                  and shit just sit

       sit           over there and shut up                     and                                                  help me fuck just stay 

stay                                       here here.

He is panicked: manic and melting. The father speckles our universe

abusive, we are his medium: expectant fallout. We wait

five minutes, twenty, forty minutes. It’s okay, ya know. No sound. I take

his waist and he crumbles. Like a nesting doll, I pull him open and he

disappears under all that sweater. Those skim milk shoulders

glow with welts. I am late, or rather, too late, the way radiation is a quiet

massacre—hollow dawn on empty country, trees dusted from their bark.

*Originally published in Specter Magazine


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