Dom Fonce

Dancing in the Cobwebs

Grandpa built the coffee table from empty
packs, painted the popcorn ceiling
yellow with smoke. With shaking hands,
eyes rolled back, a stale cigarette
reached its end like the fuse on a dud.

Past the pill bottles, the cold cups
of coffee, we saw the crumpled carton.

Pop, pop, pop!  John Wayne shot
from the hip between Grandpa’s snores.

We heard the gunfire echo
into the back field, took
one of his Camels each, escaping
the sunlight in our fort.
Unlit, they hung from our lips
as we danced in the cobwebs.

My sister put tea on the plastic stove.
I drank whiskey from an empty bottle.
Look, I’m Grandpa! I said,
gulping sunflower seeds, slumping
over in my seat,
eyes closed.

Look, I’m a cowboy!
my sister yelled, hand now a gun
pointed at my chest.
Our mouths switched between laughter
and pew-pew noises. In the distance,

a massive shot turned us to stone.
Through the cloth door, we saw
a deer—ghost-white with red eyes—
stumble in the grass.
A yelp.
A second bang.
We tossed the cigarettes,
ran into the house.
The sky swelling, blackening,
prepared to cry with us.

Dom Fonce is a poet from Youngstown, Ohio. He is the author of Here, We Bury the Hearts (Finishing Line Press, 2019) and Dancing in the Cobwebs (forthcoming). He is the Editor-in-Chief of Volney Road Review. He is also an MFA candidate at the NEOMFA. His poetry has been published in Obra/Artifact, Gordon Square Review, Black Rabbit Quarterly, Italian Americana, 3Elements Review, America’s Best Emerging Poets 2018: Midwest Region, and elsewhere.