F is for Father
Violence, force, the white heat of anger and dizziness pulled out and displayed.
That is why the 'F' begins words as 'fuck' and 'father'. Each bout of anger
must begin again. My mother stands up. She's lost so much weight I think
of the woman who's sawn in half. Entire sections have been misplaced. She
pulls out all her clothes into heaps on the floor. She sits, lost in her
clothes. She hasn't washed her hair or cooked in days. She looks at my fingernails
and her own. They're rimmed with dirt.
Wash them, she says, go wash your hands. Our father has been gone for two
weeks. He's scheduled to arrive tonight. My mother wants to be gone before
he arrives but she must sort out all the bills, her belongings and letters,
her failure. Before he arrives, she takes a shower, changes her clothes.
This time, she's prepared.
Jonathan, do you think I'm bad? This is what my mother asks me as she starts
packing. It is autumn. The sky is so blue I don't understand what she is
Where are you going? I ask. I'm going too.
No, you've got to wait for Far. I'll be back.
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