I forget it only “breathes” in water,
but just the same,
I stay back to miss all the juices.
It didn’t seem painful when they sliced’m open;
he wa’already dead
I was to put my catch on the table
“slap it on there”
“I’ll get the head”“on the table”
It felt like you would think,
like you had to do it just once
It’s a — one day I’ll tell someone about this — moment
But if you’re always the one doing the killing,
You’ll start to call it something else
It’s not murder, you said; all I do is out of love.
A conversation in which everyone is talking, but nobody is listening
I'm glad my father died before it happened.
I don't know how he would have sat
watching the polls, if he'd be timid or roaring
But I know it'd be at the foot of his bed
silhouette blackened from the light of the flatscreen
snacking on peanuts, choking on peanuts
talking out loud, not even to himself
I remember the day he bought it.
A ceremony ensued with
red blood vessels gathering on his cheeks as
he worked it out of its packaging
It took his whole wingspan to hold it in his arms,
cradle it from the floor to the TV stand
He couldn't see that it looked too big for
his apartment bedroom. He couldn't see
the way I would not touch it.
That's when he tells me he works hard.
He worked hard and this cost
Eight hundred dollars. He hides money
from my mother and you never
think about groceries the same way
once you've seen your father at the checkout line,
telling your mother he only has twenty dollars.
She spends too much, but he needs the big jar of peanuts.
It was at the foot of his bed that he said
he hated Obama and why were there so many
gay people, all of a sudden? It was on the edge
of his bed he cried once and tried to say that he loved me
But by then his words could not reach me
They rolled off of him, falling to his carpet with the peanut shells
and the cardboard box until finally
they settled into something he'd
have to keep stepping on.