Friday, July 1, 2011

To Have This

To Have This

1. My Story

Dad moved out after Mom cut
her hand on ice. I helped
cram all he owned into the car:
records and records in milk crates--
"Bitches Brew", brown faces crowding
the back window. Fatigues, boots
shiny and black like the drill sergeant,
sunglasses hiding his eyes. I went
to give him five (All the cats do it
like this. Hands brush, then point
the index finger) but he hugged me.
I pulled away, looked to see
if my friends saw. He reached into
into the trunk, pulled out a mirror:
"I want to have this so you will always
know how good we look." He was gone,
and I looked into my mirror, saw
Afro Sheen prints lining the edges
of the wood frame. All pointing at me.

2. Mother's Story

I told the neighbors
I slipped on a patch
of ice, but my hand

is still outlined
by Agent Orange
straight from Dak To

to our Frankfurt apartment.
That night, I found him
in the hallway, naked.

Bowie knife trailing
along the plaster. He cut
tunnels in the white walls

beneath an oil painting
of mountains. He said:
"I've got to get them

while they are asleep."
I reached for him.
A quick stab, the wall

sprinkled with my blood.
I fell and he ran
out the door, into

frozen Frankfurt night.
His mouth in a scream,
but no sound.

Adrian Matejka


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