Saturday, August 6, 2016

Fragments of Dad

Thumbs tucked into denim pockets.
Cigarette dangling between fingers.
Thinking James Dean looked like

Green tinted lenses.
Throwing-up a blue-and-yellow pill
I got spanked for swallowing.
Nasal of Bob Dylan. Sitar of Sgt. Pepper.

Grunion hunting in the dark
on Newport beach. Fishing off the pier.
Chocolate covered frozen bananas.
Abba Zabbas. Zig-Zags.

Police at the house.
Mom crying. Me trying
to convince him
Jesus loves us.

Little sister Cindy
running and jumping
into his arms,
legs tight around his waist.
Refusing to let go.

Watching him hang-up
on Mom that one time
at Grandma Rose’s house.
Hoping for more visitation.

Steering the Bug in the desert
to his goofiest laugh.
Calling my step-dad
to his face. My face,

at eight,
as I walked past the mirror
that time he left
when I thought he would stay –
it was red and wet
and didn’t look like me.

First appeared in Yellow Chair Review - Issue 7

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