that my father starts to scrub her name off the floorboards.
He says oh, old habit, when I ask after his bleeding knuckles.
I didn’t know his stubbled lips
could say such hard words until there was
enough smoke to fill up all the rooms in our apartment.
I used to pretend the burning smell
was the heat of my mother’s heart,
but it’s been years since imagination dumped me for a better lover.
With his big, tan hands, my father used his fists.
My mother burnt the bed frame and kicked his feet from under him.
I started smashing dishes against the walls just to drown out
the sound of bodies breaking,
started staying the night in the street to get some quiet.
They blamed each other for how I flickered,
fucked angrily on nights they didn’t know I was there,
spat out psalms and dirty words.
It’s when the bruises start showing
and my mother sets her own bones
that my father drinks himself dumb every night.
When I ask after his blackened stomach lining,
he smiles and says
Old habit. For The Day I Discovered My Parents’ Addiction | d.a.s (via backshelfpoet)