It Felt Like Coming Home
by Christina Stephens
You drove to Nashville in 1972. Your chest was full of guitar strings.
Your jug of red wine had a tiny handle. I would sneak into the kitchen and slide my finger through it, imagining. You grew orange trees with those fingers.
Your saxophone player once told me I had your smile. I must have wished hard enough.
A collection of things in your living room: A portrait of my grandmother holding a tiger. A red light fixture. The Steelers on Sundays.
On Friday nights, I sucked butterscotch candies and threw darts. You sang through the smoke.
You yelled at me once. She told me that night you cried yourself to sleep.
I watched you grow smaller on the back porch. Some days the squirrels seemed like giants.
One morning you took scissors to the lawn. You said the rabbit needed fresh grass. I wanted to save you.