The First Night in the New House

by Erin Elizabeth Smith


Dot can’t sleep in the whiskey dark
of the new room. The stacked boxes
loom in strange angels of light.
Each wall stutters with wind,
and the other side of her bed is a shore
of white down and pressed sheet.
Outside she hears the strummed
crickets, locusts digging
up from their prime-numbered
sleep. She spent all day making
holes for rosemary, lavender, things
that bloom in her shade. She learned
which neighbors drive too fast
and who sneak menthols
in the foggy twilight. She bought
clementines and nectarines, filled
the salt grinder with volcanic pink. Here
Dot is an epiphany of malt and ginger,
a horseshoe upturned. She is a woman
who watches light gather on her ceiling
until cloud gathers like memory
between her and the half moon.