Bills

by Bobby Elliott

Remember when the lights
used to go out? Not even flicker –
they would just shut right off.
Sometimes you wouldn’t notice
if you came home after school
and there was the usual sun
doing its usual errands
around the house.
You would take a nap in the afternoon.
You were a kid and hated
your math homework.
And you would wake to one darkness
called evening, mobbing
the streets outside,
and another called ruin, doing in
your family on the inside.

Bobby Elliott was raised in New York City. He recently earned his MFA from the University of Virginia, where he won the 2017-2018 Kahn Prize for Teaching, and he currently lives in Portland, Oregon. His work will appear later this year in the Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review.