She Doesn't Know, Sometimes, That He's Not Just Out For A While
There are no vacuum cleaner bruises, now,
just the eternity that was underneath.
And some of those nights, practicing divisions, yes,
I felt it even then. Father, this is something near
the second time. Remember the open top
of the convertible, the soaking outside of the school,
the affection of topdown, and almond,
which let us share the room that night
when I told you of the vertigo in Italy, the cringing into silence.
I feel as if I knew that I was somewhere related
to the understanding of the few amidst my basement-panic
in the shapes that they formed. I feel as if I should’ve known
what they were doing to you then; how those
with whom we sit, with whom we’ve always gathered
forced you to remember their dresser drawer stories
of conditional secession, the impossible. I considered,
yesterday, the indictments, and then that
which you’ve never thought to touch.
Your father’s house had been full for days, his bedroom
exuding his delirium: the purple flowers, the black car paranoia,
some lifting of repression. There was talk afterwards,
between the siblings deemed capable: the only true acknowledgement
of whispers, whispered. Your mother spoke to us, much later,
of a party, dancing, she asked us to come back someday;
there’s no longer, for her, a distinction
between the different forms of leaving. Somehow, the plea
for deliverance never seems to change.