MY BROTHER'S HOUSE
When I came around back, I found him
leaned against the post like a shovel,
hands blistered around an amber
bottle. He’d been hoeing weeds
all day in a garden that long ago
had gone back to God—Sure did
make a mess of it, he said. We
walked out to the skiff buried under
long whiskers of grass near the pond.
When we were kids we’d stuff
our bottom lips with tobacco and spit,
gaze out into a field and spit away
hours as though we were old men,
mortgages and busted marriages,
guts rotting out with cancer.
A snapper’s head broke the surface.
I knew his wife had left him—he didn’t
have to say. I asked for a beer and
he pointed to a cooler next to the house.
I grabbed two. Just then, the dobbers
started to rise from the ground, whirling
like miniature buzzards as a red light
folded over us; for a second, everything
was all right, almost like we’d been saved.
Travis Mossotti has had poetry published in various literary journals, including Another Chicago Magazine, Antioch Review, Cream City Review, Dark Horse, Fourth River, Hunger Mountain, New Delta Review, New York Quarterly, North American Review, Passages North, Rattle, RHINO, Southern Humanities Review, Subtropics, and The Smoking Poet.