by Chris Tusa

What I want most is you
gone, to hear each splintered board
creak beneath you
as you drift across the porch,
keys jingling in your pocket,
the exhaust from your pickup
rising like a voice.

No wonder, after you’ve left,
I spend my day wandering
the house, picking up
the pieces of your words?
No wonder, after you’ve finally gone,
I sit for hours on the porch
watching your footprints
fill with rain.

CHRIS TUSA was born and raised in New Orleans. He holds a B.A. in English, an M.A in English, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Florida. He teaches in the English Department at LSU and acts as Managing Editor for Poetry Southeast. With the help of a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, he was able to complete his first chapbook of poetry, Inventing an End. His debut novel, Dirty Little Angels, was published by The University of West Alabama in March of 2009. His debut collection of poems, Haunted Bones, was published by Louisiana Literature Press in 2006. His work has appeared in Connecticut Review, Texas Review, Prairie Schooner, and others.