House of In and Out (The Gums begin their move-in)

Holly Burdorff



ROBERT:    parade of locksmiths, exterminators, painters, cleaners, contractors


LORETTA:   in they come, out they go
                                  nutriments, patience, aquariums      
                         pads to protect the breakables (oh tragedy of tiny tinkles)


REPORTER:  if moving with phantoms, with lapwings, with piggybacks


ROBERT:      parade of locketsmiths, extinguishers, palaces, clearings, contradictions


LORETTA:     this moving profession
                                      some shimmy shammies to wrap things –       
                              how to explain to teaspoons: now cozy, soon drawer


REPORTER:  if moving with kimonos, with piglets, with eavesdroppings


ROBERT:      parade of lockupsmiths, extractors, palates, clearways, contraltos


HANK:          back in the old honk
                            I know the gasp            the cadence              
                                 this place, full of snickers


REPORTER:   if moving with tingles, with frizzles, with calluses


ROBERT:       parade of locustsmiths, extrapolations, palms, cleavers, contraptions


HANK:                            messy estuaries of a man returning
                       a house in a town so white it blinds        
                                 a son bent, unbroken


REPORTER:   if moving with son, with chair, with wheels


ROBERT:       parade of lodgingsmiths, extraterrestrials, palominos, clerics, contusions


LORETTA:      this hopeful home

                                       containing all horizons to our crumpled planet



Holly Burdorff is an MFA candidate in creative writing at the University of Alabama, where she teaches composition, creative writing, and literature. She serves as Art & Design Editor for Black Warrior Review and as the Director of the VIDA Count, and her poems appear in recent or forthcoming issues of Cimarron Review, POOL, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Handsome.