Whose side

was I supposed to take
in the middle of their arguments;
or later, those times I learned
I could test the edge of my
own voice against theirs?
I could hardly bear to watch
their hysterics— my mother
collapsing on the floor
and wailing that he loved
his mother more; my father
mumbling something about women
with two mouths, then clutching
his chest as he exited out the door—
When I think about these now,
the details blur and crease
except for a few things
still life-like from that stage:
long-handled butter knife
that sailed to the floor, shrill
outline of the coffeepot
boiling away on the stove.


In response to Via Negativa: Fool the eye.

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