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Quest

By Carlie Clark Nikolai First I found the grave. Tampa in the summer heat No-see-ums feasting on my ankles I stood paying my respects Trying to conjure up A face, a voice, a word— But there were only snippets A multi-colored sweater A song with silly words Saturday morning summons for a Broadcast of Let’s Pretend It was enough. She was there. Then I found the house. You can go home again, but Don’t bother. Its sparkling stucco was slathered with mud-brown paint A young woman soaped her car In the driveway. She didn’t invite me in. But I had found what had drawn me back – The house. Her bones. My roots. It was enough. Contributor’s Note: Carlie Clark Nikolai lives and writes in Cheektowaga.