The Northville Review
an online literary journal
When cigarettes were under five dollars

Jared Ward

I look for a voice,
my own,
under the mattress,
behind the dresser,
and even down in the basement corner underneath
layers of spider webs and six or seven shells of roly-polys,
sucked white and left to rot in the dampness.

check beneath the cushions.
maybe it’s there along with enough change
for a pack of smokes to chase a sunset.

follow the faint trace of breath that
nudged one hair on the arm upright,
the last vestige of instinct yet to be driven off
in a shiny ford pick-up to a white picket fence
and two-and-a-half kids.

About the author

Jared Ward has work in or forthcoming at West Branch, New Delta Review, Evansville Review, The Dos Passos Review, Zone 3, and others. He is in the University of Arkansas MFA writing program, and is the prose editor for decomP.