The neighborhood used to be a beach.
The streets run with clipped grass and trash
and potting soil when it rains—
a network of temporary rivers.
The landfill passes for real land most of the time
but fat Floridian storms bring up the truth
about the sea level and a neighborhood built
for families growing faster than the city.
The trees were planted to hold the ground.
The coastal forms are highly tolerant of salt.
The place is big and cold, with stiff rooms
for a quiet mother and two sisters living
in too much house, the space that’s left
from a bigger family. The father is dead.
The rain pulls ferns in through the cracks
in the white stucco. The kitchen blooms
while exhausted pool floats fill with water
and then with tadpoles. The hammock grows
green mold in the crosses of its ropes
and leaves wet diamonds on their backs.
The dog is tied to the stove.
The heat steams the jalousie slats.
The doors swell too big for their frames
but the girls never try to leave anyway.