The force that through dark tides draws an ocean

Georgia O'Keeffe. Black Iris. Metropolitan Museum of Art. (via)
Georgia O’Keeffe. Black Iris. (via)

The force that through dark tides draws an ocean

~for r.a.c.~

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.]

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