When storms came through our house,
we would all keep perfectly still.
Every crack of thunder had a name;
he called them dear.
My job was to hand out the scarves
we used to smother our mouths.
My father was always smashing glass
and tossing it in the sink. You can’t eat this!
he laughed, and the metal clinked
in chorus with the rain. There are men
who feel like tissues balled inside fists,
who are victims of the soft and wet.
Liquor bumped against the ceiling
like a swarm of moths. I would sing
through my scarf, eyes on my mother’s
fingernails, which scraped all night
on the kitchen table. I was so full
I held my spit inside my mouth.