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Guest Writer

by Gretta Descamp

my mother smiles
she cups a fine
bottled beer in her hand
we stand on the roof
and watch the stars cut through the clouds
we are purple with the sunset
sweet with drunken warmth
the breeze fumbles by our faces
like a clumsy lover, licking
our bare arms, kissing our naked feet
can you remember the moment
when everything fell apart?

father, you called to tell me
you were buying a new set of dishes
and finally forced me to believe
you were leaving
her and us and history behind
now i hover in the doorway
of the place where you lived for 27 years
you pet the cat and smile like it doesn't matter
that this isn't yours anymore, that my sister
your baby, so beautiful
won't speak to you

i can feel the dream seep through my skin
how I tried to walk across our roof
balancing on the beams as
the spaces in between sagged like rotting bread
i watched our house become nothing
but a frame of broken wood, peeling paint, plaster
cracking off in chunks
and woke up crying
three thousand miles away
while my home twisted apart at the seams

See more from Gretta in our archives.

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