My mother asks for a glass of water.
Kyle fills one for her. She asks for
ice, so he reaches into the freezer,
grabs three cubes with a bare hand,
tosses them into the glass. A fleck
of dirt floats in the water. He passes
it to my mother. She gulps and gulps.
He’s a fisherman. His palms cake
soil and gravel to a Tupperware full
of garlic-salted canned corn. Their love
is a softer kind. The doting son and
dependent mother. Different from
my father and myself and our banter.
He’s been sick, lately. Slower.
Dried spit from the dogs coats
our french doors and dead flies stick
to yellow tape rolls above the island.
My father’s spent cigarettes soak in
the toilet. Yesterday my brother and
mother went to the grocery store.
I tried talking to him while they were
gone. He stared right through me.
But he’s never forgotten to
leave the porch light on and a full
plate in the fridge when I come home
late. When he overdoses, I empty
the cabinets and wash every dish
in the house.
Sweet Daughter Sting
To kiss round glass openings,
To settle my arguments with
The moon and her sweet daughters.
We are never addicted to
What we assume we are.
Our desires hang thick like
I am drinking you, addicted
To you. But maybe that
Recognition is too easy an
Answer. We buzz our veins
Into wherever one finds the absence
Of repercussions. Until morning
Needles us awake. It all, always, comes
With sweet daughter sting, hanging thick
In the air, doxa, I’m addicted to
Needing. Wanting. Push and pull,
To alcohol glazing your lips in thin
Coats only on nights when the constellations
Beg us too hard to sear ourselves into their
Sparkling canon. When love becomes worship,
Becomes me bowing and dipping into your
Body’s altar and offering nothing
Of myself in return,
How can I respond with anything but anger
Brooke Mitchell is a student of Creative Writing and Philosophy at Susquehanna University. Her time as Poet Laureate of Perry County informs her work helping to build the artistic community in rural Appalachia. Her recent writing can be found in the Santa Clara Review and upcoming in the New York Quarterly Review.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.