I (Still) Love My Crazy Daddy
Daddy always paced the living room in the cresting digits. One splintered night, he stole me from my bed. He placed me on the carpet, and conversed with me until he had explained the wispy line that bound three generations of shared blood. Slapped my face when I drifted. Dragged a circle across the fibers. His gangly form, his weasel head, his mouth a pit of piano wires. “You got the bad parts, you got the bad parts!” Family is a cancer, that grows until the corporeal form rips its own head off and spills the beans in shatter. My tummy he pokes with a pencil. “You’re full of beans, you’re full of beans!” There are cameras—everywhere—in the lampposts, in the trunks of trees. The family hamster is a mechanical spy come to take our dreams. “I’m just kidding, I’m just kidding!” I was a robot. He opened my mouth. His arm was an elephant nose that went down and tickled my stomach lining and he said he felt a spider down there. “This is our secret, this is our secret!” My gums are made of pennies, my shoulders blown open from bombs. Trembling, or is it breathing? Life a frosted lemon cake full of teeth with crowns. “The sugar has anthrax, the sugar’s got anthrax, don’t eat it!” Everything’s too sweet, everything’s too sour, and there’s daddy with his enormous yardstick, jogging through the hours. “Your mother’s hiding vibrators all over the house, your mother’s hiding vibrators all over the house!” I lock the door. The carpeted floor full of government microphones beats like a drum. I see father in his bathrobe on his hands and knees, squishing shoes on my sleepy feet, with his greying eyeballs shooting out lasers and his lungs heaving light beams. “We have to leave, we have to leave!” The sun is a hale fish beneath the water, the dog jolts me with a wild cry. I’m back again. I want to die. I want to roll my wail into a candlestick and have my daddy come light it for me. “I have to go away for awhile… just awhile, just a little while.” High pitched noise. Dried blood cocoa brown. My mother runs herself ragged through the town. Where is daddy—where is he now? The Toyota Ford slams against the wall and his colorless body washes up on its side. Mooring this, mooring all of this, those synaptic corpses gone glinting with each swell that licks them.
Father never slept, but he’s sleeping now.
Did you know I’m crying now? I miss my crazy daddy.
First appeared in Sacred Chickens November 2021. This is the first time it has appeared on this blog or anywhere else.