Lived Here Our Whole Lives

Not happiness, not exactly. More like sunrise, or the routine of it, with haystacks and humidity perched on the horizon. Summer drying us out like neglected crops. In Iowa, the evenings feel disposable and star-crossed. The countryside flat as a supper plate. There is no language to translate the callouses on our hands, their deafening Braille. Bruises ripen on our bodies like plums. Nevertheless, we remain stoic, tight-lipped, subsisting on a diet of ritual and self-loathing. Gathering light in the folds of our work clothes. Singing our anthems, tipsy and fervent. We dream of lakeside campfires, evenings prone to the erratic weather of a spouse’s temper. We remain restless as moths beating against porch lights, the ghosts of who we could’ve been haunting every trail between here and there.

Adrian S. Potter writes poetry and prose in Minnesota. He is the author of the poetry collection Everything Wrong Feels Right and the prose chapbook The Alter Ego Handbook. Some publication credits include North American Review, Obsidian, Jet Fuel Review, and Kansas City Voices. Visit him online at

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