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About this Poem 

“‘house of strays’ is one segment of a short series investigating the juxtaposition of both interior and exterior habitat—how physical space shapes mental space and how we live both through the subjective idea of “home” and the physical manifestation of it.”
Kristy Bowen

house of strays

Suddenly, a hole opens in the year and we slip into it, the riptide
pull of strange, lonely dogs and broken phone lines.
You forgive me if I mistake hunted for haunted,
but I do like to rearrange things in my body every few years.
Take a can of gasoline to the frayed and ghosted.
Lights out. All hands on deck.
Still you wonder why I keep losing my shoes in the road
and coaxing cats in the alley with cans of tunafish and a flashlight.
Why my contentment is beautiful, but highly improbable, sort of like
four leaf clovers or an ice cream truck in the middle of the night.
This tiny thing breathing between us that aches something awful.
By summer, I am slipping all the complimentary mints in my coat pockets
while you pay the check. Gripping the railings on bridges to keep
diving over. Some dark dog in my throat when I say hello.

Copyright © 2014 by Kristy Bowen. Used with permission of the author. 

Copyright © 2014 by Kristy Bowen. Used with permission of the author. 

Kristy Bowen

Kristy Bowen is the author of girl show (Black Lawrence Press, 2014). She runs dancing girl press & studio and lives in Chicago.