Two Prose poems
My mother still plays poker for money. She still goes to the bar. She still tells me about her nights drunk fucking some guy who fixed her van.
My father leaves for work at 1AM. His face looks older than when I last saw him. He still smokes Marlboros in the house. He still takes me to Golden Corral for my birthday. On our way home, he calls me a bitch and drops me off on the side of the highway.
My youngest brother smokes through a vaporizer in his room. It’s broken and he’s going to return it. “You started smoking?” “No. I don’t smoke. I’m quitting.” A friend picks him up at 4AM. They run a stop sign on their way to Denny’s. Flashing lights, police sirens, 120 MPH trying to get away. Always trying to get away. They hit a fire hydrant and water shoots directly up. “Run! You better run! I don’t have a license. This is a stolen car.” So my brother runs down the same highway.
At the beauty salon I grew up in, my grandmother touches my hair like she did when I was a child. The other women around us in tight curlers. My aunt, strung out on pain pills and heroin, collecting dirty towels while my cousin steals money from the register and walks to the corner store. These women raised me.
At home, I embrace you in the kitchen after seeing the track marks on your arms for the first time. For weeks you wore long sleeves and I don’t know if this time you intended for me to see them or you were just too hot.
Home is humid.
Home is running away.
Home is wishing you could have ran too.
Go to a field and lay in the middle of it. Think about dying. Remember, “I am alive.” Remember, “Memory is fleeting.”
You are wrapped in black furs and now remnants of plants. You are wrapped in memory and it is soft, warm, sometimes has sharp edges.
I could stare for hours. Like the night you picked me up and I sat in your car, my face pressed against the glass of the passenger seat window. I could not grasp the words, “It is good to see you.”
I am the sheer white curtain draped above my bed letting blurred sunlight in in the morning. And it is enough.
Four days before you die, you touch my hair softly.
Go to a parking lot and watch a moth die. Watch it flutter and scrape across the asphalt slowly. Even though you are scared, lay on the asphalt next to it, as if that will do something. Lay around the trunk of the tree next to the parking lot crying because you couldn’t do something.
Hands pressed against dirt, face wet, my body warm and heavy.