Deep rain, the night stretching long into morning,
the day’s portrait: muted leaves, soggy toys scattered across a yard.
All night long I dreamt of my family’s homeland, watching
from the arms of an old oak—Tennessee farmyards, barns
and fields dotted with cattle. The rain wound its way in
as a river rushing along the base of the hills, carrying
small yellow boats like boots filled with straw. Portrait of a place—
every house for sale, every house an Airbnb: soulless, spotless,
with a guest book perched on the kitchen counter. Someone else’s
baby in my arms. Someone else’s floor beneath my feet. In the dream,
I was searching for somewhere to rest—stairwell, porch, basement,
attic, but all were full of knick-knacks, family rustling around old chests
looking for heirlooms, biting coins to test their worth. I ended up
in the bathroom, counting the tiles, counting the drips from the tap
as the rain pursued its ends relentlessly, claiming its place.