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no invitation

We are at a 3 year old's birthday party in the back room of a cafe. Music is pumping from a tiny speaker. Balloon animals are popping, and waving in the air. A man in a yellow dinosaur costume dances wildly. Parents snap pictures with satisfied smiles on their faces.

A little girl approaches gingerly and stands in the doorway, straying from her parents somewhere inside the restaurant. She cannot be more than three. It must be hard to ignore all of the noise coming from this room packed with celebration. There is a perfect little pony tail at the back of her head. She hesitates, as one foot poises in the air and then rests back down. How to understand that she was not invited. How to understand the laughter, the loose jumping bodies, the presents piled high on the window. None of this connects to her. There is a little plate of food waiting for her back there, in the quiet restaurant. Maybe a warm bowl of soup, thick with noodles. I watch her for some time.

That night, her empty e…

black on black

I cannot say very much
about the black on black
the bloody days and
nights
the tense moments making life
count while I wait
for the police to come
but they never do
just a trick to
scare me
but I am not scared.
I will spend my last moments of
freedom with that
little girl who eats peanut butter
with a spoon right
from the jar
every time the police are
supposed to
bust in.

I will walk in the cold air
and buy
raisin pastries
for her, every morning
no matter what.
I am her father, no matter
where I sleep.

I will listen to Beatles songs
and think the
black on black
cannot be more
dark
than this.
That the snow did come quickly
and yes, we made miniature
snowmen and
snow women together before
she got cold and we went inside
for soup and
cartoons.


Comments

brenda said…
For what it's worth, I'm right there with you, M. Try and write your way out of the dark. It helps. I swear, it does...

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