Me and sister have to be put somewhere cuz ever since Mama
left, Daddy is betwixt and between.
I pad from my room, hear him crying. Crying.
Like my baby sister cries, all howling and carrying on.
at the same time.
She needs to take lessons.
I hide behind the crusted studio door without a handle. He’s gonna fix
it so until he does, I watch the smoke pour out it and peer
through it and smell all the good smells.
Pine oil seeps under every door of our house, all because one doesn’t have a handle. At least that’s what Mama said.
A circle of empty cans rim a blackened ashtray
in the shape of a punkin. Or maybe was an apple. Or a ladybug. Drinking
a beer, he paints a picture of Mama --- from memory
Daddy said a couple days ago. This time, a large black X
across her pretty face. He smells of cigarettes, beer, Right Guard,
and turpentine. Mainly turpentine.
Daddy glares at me with a dark look though he says in a soft
high voice, go back to bed. Daddy never has a soft high voice.
In fact, it’s the most bottomlessness one
I’ve ever heard. I tiptoe back to bed in boy’s flannel Flipper
pajamas, two sizes too big.
This is Florida in the middle of the summer.
We stay with his people.