Carson Sandell

Home Is the Undercarriage


there were no birdsongs. in blue-black dawns a torque wrench clicked:
mechanical mating call. a language not of tongues. chris on oil spotted

concrete, beneath a rusted supra, lived by heineken and halogen. time
meant nothing. every night it shined through my blinds and striped

my bedroom wall. there were no birdsongs: his wife begged him to leave
the car alone. it’s my job, he always replied. the clicks continued. sandals

slapped as she trailed home to an empty bed. time meant nothing: except
when nia announced her pregnancy to the complex. the supra sold. we

slept for the rst time in years. there were birdsongs. a week after, chris
parked a comcast van in the driveway. he knocked on our screen door:

do you want free cable? dad accepted. he was sick of “seinfeld” reruns.
there were birdsongs: the hiss of dad spray-painting lures. my neighbor

pat and I played darts while he sipped garage-made moonshine. time
meant nothing: my brother and I stayed up watching “angel.” the screen

swallowed by static. I went out to the garage to tell dad our tv broke.
stopped. I heard halogen hum alive. chris beneath a camry none of us

recognized. the van gone. the clicks returned and I forgot about the tv.
I walked over to pat who was studying chris, moonshine in hand.

why is he out here again? I asked. pat knelt beside my ear, it didn’t
make it. there were no birdsongs:the walls are thin around here



Carson Sandell (they/them) is a trans woman poet from San Jose, California. They’re a 4th year Creative Writing Major at University of California Riverside and upcoming MFA candidate at San Diego State University in the Fall. Outside of school they are a Poetry Reader at Split Lip magazine and Poetry Editor at Poetry is Currency magazine.