When Lowell stood in front of the barn, he could only feel the vacuum, the empty space, carving a notch into the hollow between his trachea and his collarbone. The hay encased the ground, the light trampling of it marking where the animals would sleep. It was in this barn that Lowell had taught Poe how to ride a horse when he was six, where Poe had fallen asleep beside the cows when he was twelve, where the recruiters in camouflage had come knocking, calling out Poe’s name, when he was eighteen.
The paint was chipping away with the swelling of the years, a faded sort of red, a soft rose color. Like the way the sun looks when it’s just about cresting over those hills, singing the final notes of its ballad as it bleeds into night.
Poe promised Lowell he’d give the barn a new coat last year.
Maya Cheav is a California-based writer and recent graduate of Chapman University. She is an organizer at a local environmental justice nonprofit and frequently incorporates her passion for social issues in her writing.
Photo – Maya Cheav
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