The force that through dark tides draws an ocean
I smell violence in my family’s unspoken stories:
A hot blood splatter on cold, white tiles.
Secrets bloom in the heart of each generation like black irises
Lush and poisonous, with a sickly sweet odor
Or perhaps it’s foetid? Nevermind. No one smells the black flowers
Before they bury them hastily to rot and mulch
The ground where white lilies will grow.
A better funeral arrangement.
Like my father before me, I get headaches.
Debilitating drumbeats behind one eye that send me
Madly seeking rooms with no light
And no sound.
My father too has phobias:
Fear of flying
Fear of bathrooms
Fear of the gay man whose jaw unhinges like a snake’s.
He admits, chagrined, if I had been his gay son and not a gay daughter
He would have struggled not to want to change my mind.
I gently remind him: Someone beat this man to death.
What you fear is hatred, not desire. A bathroom can no more kill
Than a blow job.
I wonder how bad my great-grandmother’s migraine was
The day she learned of her son’s death in a public restroom.
My father’s uncle. A confirmed bachelor, according to his obituary
In the 1948 papers.
[Brief apologies for yesterday’s repost of an old entry! I was trying to do one thing; I accomplished another.]