by Lannie Stabile
when our father died // you became: the man of the house // steel beam in the basement // nine-
year-old tantrum quaking beneath the ground floor // bo(d)y to walk over // something to frame //
but who said you could brick wall your shoulders like that? // who let you fortify those fists? // who
made you the bunker you are today? //
when our father died // i became: the wraith in the mirror // summoned by three names // sugar
bowl scraping across the kitchen table // cold spot near mom’s favorite recliner // hollow tap-
tapping each morning at precisely 2am // something to occupy the walls //
who says a young house can’t feel haunted?
Lannie Stabile (she/her), a queer Detroiter, is the winner of OutWrite’s 2020 Chapbook Competition in Poetry; the winning chapbook, Strange Furniture, is out with Neon Hemlock Press. She is also a back-to-back finalist for the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 Glass Chapbook Series and back-to-back semifinalist for the Button Poetry 2018 and 2019 Chapbook Contests.