Papa and his child
play cards in a gaudy
I see twilight and
somebody in tattered rags
examine through scraped windowpanes.
Dry lips stretch, divide and ooze.
A cackle like raspy static
from old television sets.
“You killed my guy, so I have to bring
someone out.” The child
positions holographic cards with
dragon artwork on a faux wood table.
Papa’s sunburnt glow and
greying goatee overshadows
his exposed head. Fingers with indents
and thick, yellow nails cover cards.
The Happy Meal lay abandoned,
ranch cups half-dipped, value menu
wrappers pushed aside. Cheese
clings to Papa’s brown paper bag.
The child asks where
are they going to go.
Papa says he doesn’t know.
Rays of natural light blind
my eyes while I climb flights of stairs.
Memories of blue aluminum cans
vibrating from bass-heavy trap drums.
People performing mindless rhymes. Stepping
clumsily like newborn deer. Smells of old
beer, and smoke dwell in the apartment.
Windows opened for air.
Masking last night's horrible errors.
I rush outside to sounds of raspy
screams. Bumps form across my collar.
Of course, it's my livid father.
Ewing Sarcoma, Extremely Rare
The graduation cap you wear hides
lack of hair, as you speak to the
class of 2015, the bright wheelchair
below you gleams.
Extreme heat plagues my seat,
burning my back. Never mind,
at least I’ll survive.
Faded green veins and pale
skin, purplish black shadows
under sealed eyes.
Lies in a glazed wood case. You
look fake. Prosthetic, even.
Makes me question if this were a mistake.
Driving around Corral Hollow Road
as we bellow harmonies
you didn't quite know on
my car radio. Your former
lover weeps in my back seat.
Why did he have to leave?
At Bethany park, unrelenting winds
weave through my thick gelled hair.
This place now to mourn.
The glass bottle of your favorite
root beer in my hand.
Not to drink. Instead, I pour.