by Miranda Merklein

We left Cambria in a dust of early morning fog,

just like we left all other places before, and we drove

three days

Back to Santa Fe, to our apartment,

Where we had birthday parties and where we last saw

Our pet. Dad had the machinery to pry open the locked

Window, and we crawled in. I began setting up the house

Hold, where we were to restart our lives.

Meanwhile, someone called the police

And the property manager was notified.

This is not your house,

Anymore, they magaphoned, and if you want to rebuild

Please pay back rent and your new

rent plus deposit. Back in those days, it was less socially

acceptable to be evicted

Or thrown on the streets, and the fact

That I was a 11-year old soul

Helped, although I was old

Enough to be considered an advocate of evil.

Somehow, we made it work, and although we lived

In a car for years after that, this was a time

of premature dignity and refuge and puff paint blouses.

I know the feeling of being

guilty more than I know what home

is or how guiltiness could be consolidated

Into a frayed doormat dug out of someone else's trash

Before Dumpster Diving was sacred and cool.