THREE YEARS IN SAINT PAUL by MCKENZIE LEE
Love through a tacked up green blanket in December.
Love through the smoldering edges of yellowed apartment wallpaper, where we lit the match and left
fire there, glittering with god for someone else to find, left there for someone else to clean up the
ashes and the melted shag carpeting and all those broken mirrors.
Those moonless mothers smoking in the dumpster mazes out back, caravans of creases, circuses of crows feet and sagging underarms, they’d never approve.
Your moonless mothers bird collection, watching us in red painted garden chairs through brass, through plastic and glass from where they sat next to thrift store candles and a taxidermy jackalope.
Staying there in the room you put the blue light in.
Staying up all night while you desperately searched for some kind of history for yourself on Ancestry.com.
Cigarettes in mountain dew cans roasting in the stained-glass window.
Cigarettes when the fountain spoke, while we were laying in a bed of public park hydrangeas, we didn’t listen to it when it said that something bad was on its way.
That first hospital visits in my dad’s Volvo he sold us, that you trashed, and how it barely got us there.
That amateur exorcism, incense, resins bubbling on spitting charcoal. Dragons’ Blood, Frankincense, Copal, fistfuls of Sage and an unwashed goose feather.
Thinking, as I turned up the volume on the ‘banish negative energy’ YouTube mix, sprinkling the halls with rosemary and sea salt.
Thinking “let this be enough, please let this be enough.”
Seven different sermons from seven different churches couldn’t keep that glass table from breaking
Leaving after that, and then never coming back.
Mckenzie Lee lives in Minnesota where she explores writing, sleep paralysis, and the anatomy of dream shapes.