Life.

Life.

A series of sparks,

on a windy,

windy,

day.

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A working hypothesis.

Burning my hand while removing our bagels from the broiler, I hear a voice.

“BECAUSE THERE’S NO GOD DAMN ROOM!”

And I recognize that voice.

That voice is not my own.

It’s deep and fearful.

Hoarse and irrational.

It is the voice of an angry man.

It is the voice of my father.

Then there is silence.

A long insecure silence.

A fearful silence.

And I recognize that silence.

I have been on the receiving end, and that is a terrible place to be.

Catching myself in the act I quickly apologize.

“I’m sorry.”

Only now it is my voice.

It is mild and tame.

Concerned and rational.

It is the voice of a scared child.

It is the voice of a worried man.

And in my mind I’m thinking, please believe me.

Please for the love of all that is holy.

Believe me.  Believe me.  Believe me.

Because what I meant to say – while burning my hand and channeling the blame to whomever(the loved) was in firing range – was, “because I’m the idiot who didn’t think twice before touching a hot pan.”

It’s my fault.

Not yours.

And now I’ve got the scar to prove it.

Through outwardly and publicly expressing concern and or contempt for one’s actions, said party, will reject the path of his predecessor in order to lead a gentle existence.

It’s a working hypothesis.

I’m still dealing with your ghost.

Please stop reading if you’ve heard this before.

It’s been 15 years since.

And I’m still holding onto a ghost.

15 god damn years.

And I’m still crying in a coffee shop.

I wasn’t even 15.

And you sure as hell weren’t a Boy Scout,

so who tied the noose?

I want to know what type of knot you used.

It’s been 15 years.

And I want answers.

Answers that I’ll never receive.

I want an apology.

You son-of-a-bitch.

How embarrassed you must have been.

I wasn’t even 15.

And they don’t even know the half of it.

And here I am again.

Wasting my energy on this endless sadness.

Because you couldn’t hack it.

Towards the end they say you were over medicated.

Well it’s been 15 years.

And it’s probably the reason I don’t even like to take aspirin.

It’s just that over 15 years it’s been hard to explain.

Like when you come right out and say it.

He.  Committed.  Suicide.

Kids used to awkwardly laugh at first and then realize I wasn’t lying.

And suddenly everyone’s sorry.

Suddenly I have to act sad.

Or act like it’s fine.

Nobody wants to see you break down in front of them.

Nobody wants to know your whole life story.

15 god damn years and I’m blubbering like a baby.

Screaming at the top of my lungs – drunk.

So if you’ve heard this before please stop reading.

Because I’m sure I’ve said it.

I’m as sure as I was 15 years ago.

Lost.

Because you don’t get custody after biting someone on the face.

And I don’t get answers.

I don’t get an apology.

Even after 15 years.

I’m still dealing with your ghost.

Child’s play.

She let the boys touch her after school.

Built well with a push-up bra to boot.

She wore her t-shirt a size too small.

And cheap checkered flannel pants.

The kind grandma might gift from Walmart.

And peaking out her behind was a white thong.

After school she’d let the boys touch.

Under covers, in her room, before her mother got off work.

If they got too close to her privates, she’d gently shy away.

Maneuvering her legs just enough to disengage the boys hand.

Leaving them embarrassed because she did have rules.

She wasn’t a whore.

After school the boys would touch her.

And being 2 years younger she gave them a false sense of adulthood.

A dominance that is eventually debunked with age.

It wasn’t until they got older that things began to change.

People’s opinions started to effect those early adolescent days of childhood teasing.

And over time the boys graduated and went off to college.

But the boys her age didn’t want to touch her after school.

She was branded a slut by the girls in her grade.

And promiscuous by the adults in the neighborhood.

It didn’t bother her that much though.

Only sometimes, at night, when she couldn’t fall asleep.

So she’d close her eyes and count like sheep.

The boys she let touch her after school.

 

 

 

And I write this poem.

I hear the voice of a little girl.

Exterminator!  Exterminator!

She’s maybe nine years old.

I answer the door.

She walks in holding a clipboard.

Her father follows.

He’s smiling.

He knows me.

We do this every second Saturday of the month.

“Please sign,” she says authoritatively.

Her father makes his rounds.

“Thank you,” she says.

I hand her a dollar.

She adds it to the clipboard.

Her father exits the kitchen.

“I no use near food…” he says with regard.

They leave.

Exterminator!  Exterminator!

Y escribi este poema.

 

the polarity between real life and a college town.

I miss my former self.

A chatter-box of complaint.

Endless questions with premature answer.

Horny and mad.

Full of flowery language.

Undefined.

Chain smoking under the gun.

I miss my former self.

Like an old friend.

Like a past lover.

Like a finished book.

Like a sprained ankle.

Like a cavity.

Like film.

I miss my former self.

Arrogant.

Brooding.

Self-deluded.

Know-it-all.

Audacious.

Jerk.

I miss my former self.

Like turning 13.

Like watching Fox and Friends.

Like a one night stand.

Like romanticism.

Defined.

No longer smoking, still under the gun.

It’s the polarity between real life and a college town.