In the house are three effigies, carved out and
hollowed to leave room for the fire.
In the kitchen, fingers doused in olive oil dig
deep into recomposed meat; lips move to the
sound of Hallelujah.
Under the closed door slithers the spirit of
discord, or something like it; its stain crawls
across the flannel pants, licks the ribs, circles the
long fingers laced around a wine glass.
Three mouths, two plates, one failure: Welcome
The bedroom emits a scream which beckons like
the adhan calls the faithful. I want to see.
And I see: the bed is a coffin.
On it is my mother, or a sarcophagus, or a
On it is an open mouth, or a wound, or a tear.
Its sound is a tornado, a fountain springing
My father looks in silence, in reverence, at the
altar, an animal sighting in the wild.
There are many possible answers, but I won’t be
given one, and I don’t understand the question.
When my mother is gone, I sneak into her closet
and put on her black dress, patent heels, brown
And consider: how long the leg has become,
how thin the ankle below the trim.
Everything smells like her.
When my father is gone, I search for his gun. It
won’t be found, but I can hear it somewhere
inside the walls — a vibration, a song; low as a
whisper, but it wants me hard.