Your auntie has too many damn kids mom tells me one day over a glass of Chablis.
The way the light shone through the blanket above us like sun dappling the water’s skin; the way we hovered below the surface of awakening.
I think of the signs I didn’t see: a confusion, a slowing down, a stooping of her small frame.
We loved so hard in those rooms. Could the walls feel it?
Who could blame me for wanting to believe everything was going to be OK?
You’re not afraid of him, not exactly.
The stranger was the first body I saw.
Like someone’s banging against the lid of a coffin, I think, watching my father wield his fist as a flesh and bone hammer.
He might be right, you think. You might be crazy.
I can’t recall anything kind, but there must’ve been tacos and calla lilies and jazz clubs that compelled me to stay.