by Brittney Scott

I treat the affair like a rat
I raised from birth and let loose
into my house. I do not give it an option
to come back. I hope it will
do damage, gnaw through
the back dresser,
tunnel inside the carefully arranged
drawers and cabinets with each shirt neatly folded,
the items ordered and tidy.
In courage, one day, of opening
a once familiar space,
only to find mystery
thrown together in a hectic arrangement of blessings,
hundreds of brightly colored threads,
bone bits, shredded panties, and a single bright key
marked yes.

BRITTNEY SCOTT’s first poetry collection, The Derelict Daughter, won the 2015 New American Poetry Prize. She is also a recipient of the Joy Harjo Prize for Poetry, as well as the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in Best New PoetsPrairie SchoonerThe New RepublicNarrative MagazineCincinnati ReviewAlaska Quarterly ReviewLinebreakIndiana Review and elsewhere. She homesteads on seven acres in rural Virginia.