I was out in the yard standing where the grass butted up against the woods. A dog was barking on the farthest hill, and Venus hovered like a drill hole full of light. As often happens, some bats began looping the air above me as I thought about a girl I hadn’t kissed enough. My family was on the inside. I saw them moving in the lighted squares — practicing algebra, removing mascara. It was like staring into a mortgaged aquarium, and I waited for one of them to wonder where I’d gone.
Charles Rafferty’s most recent collections of poems are The Smoke of Horses (BOA Editions, 2017) and Something an Atheist Might Bring Up at a Cocktail Party (Mayapple Press, 2018). His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, O, Oprah Magazine, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, and Ploughshares. New prose poems are forthcoming in The Gettysburg Review, Salamander, and Plume. He has won grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. Currently, he directs the MFA program at Albertus Magnus College and teaches at the Westport Writers’ Workshop.