He Whispered Dead Outside

Avra Elliott

And having grown up surrounded by dead things,
preserved insects, feathers, and mouse
spines all in a row
of fractal vertebrae,
I ran outside. I misheard.
Not dead, but desk
not desk, but side table,
brought in and painted turquoise,
the only paint we had, so
table-joined turquoise chairs,
blue-hued metal birdcage
filled with doll heads.
It made us believe we were the kind of people
who fix things.
We replaced a missing dresser door with fabric,
ignored the peeling paint (our spray can dry).
We believed we’d build a cat tower,
but began a war at Home
Depot, arguing while holding dowels
as though to joust.
The cats sleep in our bed now,
we’ve turned the table
to the wall, to hide the broken back
we couldn’t fix.


avra-elliottAvra Elliott received her MFA in creative writing from Warren Wilson College. Elliott lives in the southwest where she splits her time between writing and working as a toymaker.






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