My father said no infinity times, said all As,
no A-minuses. In 6th grade I devised a plan:
if I was perfect, if I made no sound.
When we finally sprung my father from the hospital
after days spent staring at the cardio unit’s
cinderblock walls the color of nothing
good, his joy could not be contained.
A mother who lived to peel apples,
bake the most exquisite pies. Suffuse the air
with delicious love. A father gah-gah for fossils,
mummies, cow manure.
If it wasn’t a man singing a song about cheating on his woman, it was a woman singing about how she was going to get her man back from some other woman. In Daddy’s mind, he was the hero of every one of those songs.
We weren’t a talking family
especially when it came
to discussing why I locked myself
in the bathroom upstairs
Make an imaginary phone call to some person or thing to tell them something you never told them.
little oily sardines to lay on saltines
which he would make disappear
into the smile under his moustache