my mother is changing the entire house, room by room
no furniture must be the same as my father left it
all his suits are in garbage bags
papers and files in a box that sags
my mother says when men are old, they turn cold
i wake up and hear the phone slamming
she says all she has ever felt for all these years was alone.
her big soft hands stitching up my skirts,
down the drain swirls bottles and bottles of my father's cologne.
all day we cleanse our home, and our minds of him.
my baby brothers are all grown,
video games and video games and video games
i'm keeping secrets of my own
boys in the dark boys at the parties
my mother's tears make me feel old and tired
my father's voice-
ringing all day with everything but his overdue apologies
i'm as clear as a glass cup
except the soft glow of the hanging lamp
our hearts in grinders, getting shook up
kissing a mouthful of smoke
my skeleton hands inside his rough palms
envious of his rocking hips
our tongues taste like mint and cherry
sucking air out through his lips
my life is pinned against a mime's wall
sneaking up to his apartment through the back
up the fire escape, air vents dripping from the heat
he owns two slinking cats, staring at us with their poker faces
and their wide green eyes.
my thighs against his corduroys
he knows all my scars and bruises,
i need a new disguise.
my mother tells me she hasn't sat down the whole day
she's chopping and tossing and sauté-ing
salty tears dripping into the pan
my mouth is a flower bruise
thinking about how we dressed each other back up in the dark
fumbling and touching like blind men
my brothers sit and
stare at screens all day
i stare at them all,
no longer knowing what to say.
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