Eddy makes us climb up on the roof
It’s really high and I think I’m 33, when
do I stop climbing on the roof? I can’t believe the city
how perfect, like a doll’s town        A view
to the river
the X-painted houses too far to see

Then we’re sitting on the front stoop of their shotgun house
Whiskey and coffee
Tori talks of beignets in the French Quarter but right now
Eddy is playing his guitar
in the sunshine

It’s so warm
I take off my shoes and socks and their cat Mohammad
stretches out on my toes

Tori has a smudge of white left on her face

Next door neighbors stop by        circle on the sidewalk
Girl wearing a crown and mismatched socks
one purple one red
Boy with tiger stripes smeared across his cheeks
holding a banjo        and another boy wild-eyed
who hasn’t been to sleep

Eddy admires his own gold spray-painted shoes
plays on the guitar a song he wrote        What I Owe to Iowa
He’s from Minnesota
Tori asks me about Chicago
and I ask her about Maine

We are all from somewhere        one boy
even from a place called Paradise
~ ~ ~

Laura Bandy received her MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006. From 2009-2013 she attended the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers, where she received the Joan Johnson Poetry Award. She has had work published in Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry, The Cossack Review, Trailer Park Quarterly, After Hours, Inscape Online, Pithead Chapel, Barrelhouse Blog, Triggerfish Critical Review, Sin Fronteras, River Styx, and has poems forthcoming in Manticore: Hybrid Writing from Hybrid Identities and Typo Magazine. She teaches at Spoon River Community College and hails from Jacksonville, Illinois, home of the Ferris wheel.