Devil’s Lake

Fall 2011 Issue

Corey Van Landingham: The Architecture of Fathers

You move like a haunted house, which means

you don’t move, but are moved inside. Each

bump, every cough in your crawlspace is enough

to collapse the roof. The roof hasn’t been around

for years, not since your growth in the attic pushed

it off. And at night you let the owls swoop in.

Nurses. The hospital bed erected so that your chest

mirrors the sky—tumor blackest in every X-ray.

The walls of your ribs reveal branches covered

in snow. Mice crawl inside them, make the owls go

lustful. But you only hear all this. Feel it, too.

The wind coursing in rivulets down your arms,

how it stings open the windows. When the insects

tire of the light, they cover your face. When children

fill a haunted house, it looks more silly than scary.

The hills you see outside and the tapering clouds

about to erupt with hail, the loneliness of being

emptied, trees like drifters. Are you ever afraid

the old leaves will stay inside you forever. Or

are you more afraid this all will leave, no more

mice to find stiff on the kitchen floor. The storm

that will be the attic’s last upheaval, filling it

with an ice that melts down to the pit of your

back, plants a stone, which will not grow.

a photo of the author, Corey Van Landingham COREY VAN LANDINGHAM is currently an MFA candidate at Purdue University, where she serves as Poetry Editor of Sycamore Review. In the summer of 2011, she was chosen by Ander Monson as the winner of the Indiana Review’s 1/2 K Prize, and was awarded a Bread Loaf Work-Study Scholarship. Her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, Redivider, Typo, and ZYZZYVA. More from this issue >