in the stories
Dad says sweet potato and never bread,
crickets under tongue for kicks or survival.
he cries before i know what tears are. pulls off
his glasses. wipes at the steam. breathes
in blood and splits me straight in two.
was the last time he opened his mouth.
opened her mouth and
nothing was heard.
i wish i knew how to name this ache. maybe
it hurts because i can’t call it, and i know no
names that matter and my grandmother has
not a single strand of white. a fair trade for all
that purple under the veins, under the skin.
the easy days
were always about cricket legs stuck between teeth.
you can’t cry when it’s funny.
i have dreams where the walls were never walls, just bugs
and the world through Dad’s foggy glasses.
i’m sorry if this makes me ungrateful
but one day i think i want to see.
and maybe the silence has gone on long enough
for me to dissect the blood. i see everything there
rolled into nothing but capillaries in place of feet.
yes i read the books yes i pressed my head against
the closed door yes i listened until the walls were bugs.
are you there?
someone’s sixth rib
i scrub at the silence
but i don’t have any holy water
and Dad spills nothing but crickets.