“Neigborhood” by Matthew Chamberlin

This neighborhood is all I know,

these placid lawns and cars consumed

by blooms of rust where things move 

underneath the surface

—parts and widens, comes a tuft 

of hair a head or pair of hands 

and then erupts with screaming children, 

all together eyes alive and loose-limbed 

flinging spears at one another

—dodging homemade dogs 

who single-minded in the backyard 

gnaw an arc of bones 

with muzzles dripping—


Matthew Chamberlin lives in Virginia, where he also writes.

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