Homesick

Matthew Mitchell

Watching a             small screen             bathed in orange swallowing             the sunset             outside                         my bedroom I want             to say I love my father             like the                         nine-year-old version             of myself did my thin-fingered                         hands waving             taking             deep             breaths                         in the December air, sticky with             saliva                         cheering on our beloved team                         a lineage which craves its

own collapse                while we were             surrounded by partitioned stadium seats                         Southern transplants             daughters of the Cuyahoga burning                         but I am now the child of Hope Memorial Bridge                                                descendant of gas and dust

everything I touch             hands coated in dark matter            slowly collapses             the moonlight’s pull            the ocean’s             forgiveness            the sun dissolving beneath its crystalline skin            all creep down my cheek like a dog’s            bark against the capillaries wrapping around my             father’s vertebrae in another state

During the             coronation of my rustbelt self            an alchemy of flames             and constellations             singe the edges of the                        television set            a hunk of swollen offense runs                        deep into the winter dark                        where they invent some bellowing dance                        aching away another Sunday                        waiting for                                                            a parade down Euclid

(This could, like always, finally be our year)

Tonight                        I am a thousand miles south of him                        watching rows of             pale orange seats lean into            the sunset                         and tonight            the thinness of Texas fireflies                         are teaching me how                        flooded with yells our Ohio yard                        was and I can hear his voice calling from            the living room Come out here, son                        Come watch the game with your old            man

 

But yet                        in the farlight of the moon                        just as I plead to the onscreen                         snow falling                         come back             come back             come back             where it hides in the             gaps of a dim sunslant                        the space like a hand                         splashing at the surface of                         the Lake            our long distance séances amass            

gold watches            and            scoreboards                        all of them out of time


About the Author

Matthew Mitchell—a recipient of the Grace Chamberlain Prize in Creative Writing, the highest English honor at Hiram College, and the Richard C and Jo Ann Murphy Underwood Award for Journalism—will be featured in upcoming issues of Lunch Ticket, Clockhouse, and The Oakland Arts Review.