Father of a Deaf Girl
Every time her hands began to stutter he became enraged. She threw these fits sometimes, and he never took the time to understand what they meant. Her words were wasted on him. Her hands useless birds caged by their quietness, and he would immobilize them, tying her wrists together so they’d jump like awkward fish, gasping at the shock of air. Un-heard they’d dance like that for hours, her eyes full of silent desperation, on the other side of the closet door. He never even knew what they were saying.
I want to fly from here! I want to fly from here! I want to fly from here! I want to fly from here! I want to fly from here! I want to fly from here!
1B The woman sitting next to me/in 1B has burn marks on her hands./As she sleeps, I let myself stare/trying to figure out/if it was a cooking accident/or…
She boarded quietly,/but her eyes/grazed me with/malignant anger.
She is awake now./I turn away,/look out of the window./Reaching for the phone/the sleeve of her business jacket lifts, revealing/a neat row of round burn marks/all up her forearm.
Was she hurt as a child?/Was it a late husband,/ mean boyfriend, crazy sex fetish?
I try to catch the title/of the book she’s reading/for clues.
It’s just some mystery novel
I can tell/I’m making her/uneasy./I go back to my writing.
She looks so hard-/like a lot of women in L.A./Dark secrets hunting her insides,/softness sucked out,/a deep sadness in her eyes.
A Slow Disease My dad went to Vietnam when he was 19 years old./I think it bruised his soul. There are some things/ the human mind should never have to comprehend, some/things the body can never forget/He doesn’t talk about it. Actually, I guess, I’ve never/asked,/I hate to imagine his puppy young eyes absorbing all that/rain and mud and blood./The jungles must have seemed like a slow disease/that would continue to/ arrest his and so many other hearts/the rest of their lives.
I’m Writing to Tell You I’m writing/this letter to tell you/
I don’t love you anymore./
I don’t miss you./
I never have./
The truth is, I/tried, but never found/your adoration/anything other than arduous,/
your niceties cliched,/
your praise thoughtless,/
and it has become/unbearably obvious/that you love me with/all the originality/of romance novels;
the manly man weakening/the luscious flower.
But do not be sad,/nothing is lost,/neither of us even loved/the other truly-/you only thought you did/and I only wanted to.
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