She Could Not Offer Herself Up
Violence mutes the odd ghost bones who splay out from family flesh around the dining room table. Every room bloats with a fragrance slick with bruises. The lukewarm simmer of jammed words boil into a bloodied brew accenting tufts of hair and skin and it’s only Tuesday. Slant of night chews up whatever light leers through the windows. Dad tumbles out of his briefs into our rooms. It’s a deranged pop of another pill, the crush of a derailed penny. Any dictator takes out his bridge of teeth before bed.
The woman he calls wife is not immune to the evening escapades. She lies on the left side of the mattress while her coffin weighs out a single focus: What’s the most efficient way to kill oneself? Nothing in the house can hold her steady. Medications only vegetate. No help for crying here. The stench is nothing but rage. Defeat has never spun globes.
Sky is loose above the house with the swollen dredge of destitute. Pristine yellow and tawny trim make absent the crumble of interior. No one wakes to memory. Only dreams with stomach aches or fevers consecrate the crest of another day.
The wife backs her station wagon out drunk and rising from the cracks. A bridge sits and waits. Time is no longer a confrontation. A flask filled with fucking everything. Nobody says grace at her table. It is their killing fields. She buckles the kids in. They have a ways to go.
Meg Tuite is author of four story collections and five chapbooks. She won the Twin Antlers Poetry award for her poetry collection, Bare Bulbs Swinging. She teaches writing retreats and online classes hosted by Bending Genres. She is also the fiction editor of Bending Genres and associate editor at Narrative Magazine. http://megtuite.com
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