We cut the bedroom walls at the four-foot seam, which gave us an education:
what size sheets of drywall come in, how high flood waters get
that chalk-like powder is beneath robin’s egg blue paint
understanding at twelve what rots, what sags, what fades,
what stinks, what you can get away with not replacing
good thing no one in this family was a reader;
I’d have books floating out the back door, me.
Some neighbors passed, saw us hauling rotten carpet, a scene of spoiled
eggs and sewer and shouted “y’all back?”
Like, What’s it look like?
You can’t forget the smell that comes after it’s how I learned
mildew isn’t a color it’s a texture, the raised level on a styrofoam cup
condensation white pepper it changes with your fingerprints
it reminds us that there is water under us all
Loving this damn underwater place
that remembers when things were dry
Rhienna Renée Guedry is a queer writer and artist who found her way to the Pacific Northwest, perhaps solely to get use of her vintage outerwear collection. Her work has been featured in Empty Mirror, HAD, Oyster River Pages, Bitch Magazine, Screen Door, and elsewhere. Rhienna is currently working on her first novel. Find more about her projects at rhienna.com or @cajunsparkle_ on Twitter.