I remember the fermented stench of manure,
and the one-eyed cat polluted with worms.
I remember bleached stars and a sky free of scrapers,
the bonfire’s tongue rising to mingle among the seeds.
I remember the threat of snakes and speckled geckos,
grasshoppers clinging to naked thighs on a scorched four-wheeler.
I remember firm cookies stored in the freezer,
my breath thawing treats from weeks before.
I remember paper shedding skin from bubbled walls,
the deafening silence spurring nights of insomnia.
I remember a worn deck of cards scattered on the kitchen table,
sealings holes of a ratty tablecloth with portraits of kings and queens.
I don’t remember how long I’ve been away.