Everyone in this town has been drunk
since the great distillery spill
of ’97 flooded the reservoir.
Nothing grows in the fields
anymore, so we trade faucet
grade whisky to the recovering
Catholics up north for a few blemished goats
and enough broken Christ
wafers to rid us this day of our daily
hangovers. The fire that followed
the spill still burns. Nobody cares
for the way the smoke obscures the sky,
but the stench sure helps
keep out the riffraff—you know
the types: shoe wearing, haircut
having, dental insurance recipients.
Most folks around here have about eight fingers
missing, since the only work
is at the sawmill. It makes us tough.
It makes it tough for us to unlock doors.
Derek Annis is a graduate of the MFA at EWU. During his time at Eastern Washington University, he was the assistant poetry editor for Willow Springs. He was a finalist for the 2016 MBF emerging writers contest, and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Gettysburg Review, Missouri Review: Poem of the Week, The Colorado Review, The Account, Crab Creek Review, and Fugue, among others.