It was 1975. There was a jail cell and a death sentence, a liver barely functioning. There was a coffee filter and a metal tub of shoe polish. There was nothing but time and silence. Her father’s father played chemist, separating the alcohol molecules from the rest of the chemical goo. There was extraction, taste, and, finally, release. He descended from the Goths. They spoiled the land with their presence, their grease, their ilk. They were an underground fracture, a mineral seepage, kudzu and weeds, invasive. Their offspring, poison. Their semen, toxin in the water.
Kathleen Nalley is the author of the poetry chapbooks Nesting Doll (winner of the S.C. Poetry Initiative Prize) and American Sycamore (Finishing Line Press). Her poetry is forthcoming or has appeared in New Flash Fiction Review, Fall Lines, Slipstream, Rivet, storySouth, Night Block, The Bitter Southerner, Melancholy Hyperbole and Night Owl, as well as in the Kakalak 2014 Anthology, among others. She holds an MFA from Converse College, and teaches literature and writing at Clemson University.