Travis Mossotti: "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.