by Paul David Adkins

Who hasn’t wanted to do that?
He probably had the key,
felt the familiar give of the tumblers.

He knew the house wasn’t his,
but wasn’t it? He read somewhere that your cells,
your smell, your thoughts and feelings will dwell
in a home forever.

And what is this thing about property?
What is this law
that says a memory is not his own: his mother,
exhausted from two jobs at the Exxon stations,
came home right here at six to heat
Spaghetti-Os and Vienna Sausages.

Call the cops. I used
to live in this place. I used to watch my mom fry Spam
in this same kitchen.

Pour a little Schlitz in the pan,
he begged. Pour a little vodka, Mom.
Bubble things up.

Paul David Adkins (he/him/his) earned an MFA from Washington University. In 2021, Xi Draconis will publish his collection Long Time Burning. Journal publications include Badwater, Kissing Dynamite, Spillway, and Barzakh. He has received one Best of the Net and six Pushcart nominations and the 2019 Central NY Book Award for Poetry.