Stephen Hundley


If there was a time to cheat me,
let it be now.
With the lights knocked out
in the dead air of the house.
The roof shuddering
and the halls become caverns,
the studs unmanned,
and just our little huddle in the living room.
Here, with candles on the carpet floor.

Storms like these,
they’re not built to last.
But here we are,
with calculators and flashlights,
the railroads bought up
and hotels on every stretch.
And what might have been a stifle
is eased by the cracking of a door
front and back
lee and wind.

Now the candles are cat tails
twitching in their silver,
while the dogs
crawl under the armchairs
or perch like parrots
on our backs.

And tell me, sister,
where did you find that purple fifty?
And how came you by this house?

Stephen Hundley is a former high school science teacher and is currently an MFA student at the University of Mississippi. He also serves as the fiction editor for The Swamp literary magazine. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi.