Elegy for 8251 Short Cut Rd

Jordyn  Damato

You, my friend 

and my enemy, 

were my first home. 

You smelled like  

cigarettes and a  

wood burning stove  

and when I hid under  

my bed, mothballs. 

My sisters and I  

threw noodles  

on your head, 

testing to see if  

they would stick 

or if they would fall. 

And we knew when  

they stuck, and they  

typically never did, 

dinner was done  

and we could eat 

and speak with you. 

I abused you, home, 

the same way you  

abused me. 

In your secret hideout  

that I made my own,  

I wrote all my secrets  

on your skin  

in invisible ink.  

When I got angry at 

whoever, never  

you, I took it out 

on your body  

in my closet.  

You’ve seen  

the worst, 

the best,  

and the worst  

of me over 

and over again.  

I know you  

were frustrated 

with me.  

I know you  

were only trying 

to protect me  

when the storms  

began, when  

the dishes were thrown  

against your tile, 

when my body  

laid so close 

to unconscious 

on your rug.  

You bared  

it all; I never 

once thought  

about how it  

made you feel. 

I could apologize  

now, but there is  

no use. You are  

four houses  

in the past  

and you have 

new owners. No,  

the same owner,  

a new 

resident. She turned  

my room into an 

office. She painted  

over the green and  

blue—she set  

garden gnomes  

in front of you.  

I know that must  

be what bothered  

you most. It wasn’t 

me leaving, or me 

leaving you with them, 

It was the gnomes. 

The last time I saw you,  

a dark night in June,  

my sisters and I  

did what we had to. 

One last act  

of destruction  

in your honor; 

The sound of various  

gnomes shattering 

against your brick,  

the only way 

I know how to  

apologize is by 

saying nothing. 

Jordyn Damato currently attends Central Michigan University where she’s an accelerated masters student in the English program, with a focus in Creative Writing. Her prose and photography have appeared in Central Review, and she has work forthcoming in Bullshit Lit and Woolgathering Review. Jordyn has a passion for exploring the strange truths in her work, no matter how difficult that may be. She tweets unprofessionally at @jordyndamatoo.