"no place like home"
Mom returns home from work,
washes her hands, turns on her soap
and prepares the boys an early dinner.
Drawers and doors are shutting,
the smell of fish grease creeps up the stairs,
beneath me, the kitchen is bubbling.
Dad creaks out of his daily deathbed
takes a piss and thunders down the stairs
like the load of his life is too much to bare.
Mother calls me down to eat.
But I am trapped in a brilliant story
about a desert storm in Castle Valley.
clanks and scrapes
across porcelain plates.
The sink water and fan keep running.
The word “Bitch!” is flung through the air
beneath me, father is erupting.
Lips tighten. Fists curl.
I want to say
No I can’t come down to eat
and be trapped in that storm
of words that strike like lightning.
I am tired of acting like we are okay.
He has problems. She has problems.
And I have problems with their problems.
I have been locking my door
since I was six and still can’t stop
their words from breaking in.
So I leave it open and listen
to our picture perfect peace
shatter like a forsaken dish.
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