My Father’s Gift


My father was a gifted man,
if by gifted you mean having the ability
to take a perfectly good family and
fuck it up beyond all recognition.

I often wonder what his childhood
was like – did he lay awake at night
anxiously awaiting that condemning
sliver of light from a cracked bedroom
door? Did he endure the midnight
smell of rum and coke that announced
another night of abuse? Did he whisper
to himself, “this is what I want to do
when I grow up?”

He had a gift for loving his children,
much like a pimp has the gift of loving
his whores.

A Midnight Violation


Bathed in an ethereal light
this child has no skin in the game
yet her trust holds demands
she cannot bear.

The creak of her bedroom door
snatches the sleep from her eyes
and in the darkness, horror descends;
her pillow, once soft and warm,
betrays her and once under, now over,
muffles her surprise.

Beneath his weight, she dissipates –
her cries muffled in the night.
Her fright smothers  – she gasps for air
and he’s still there, grinding her
fragile hips into dust.

God looks on, and in His fashion
does nothing to intervene;
a celestial voyeur.

Stuffed animals bolt to the floor
one after the other, and with them
descends lost innocence;
her face laced in spittle, and she’s so little.

He rolls over, spent and condemned
as blackness descends to fill her.
Nothing is as it seems, but not a dream.
Tears wash away the vision of
this violation.

He rises as she plummets;
this child painted with the smell of
cigarettes and cheap liquor.
Morning filters through frosted panes
but she finds no warmth in the rising sun.

They’ll be no accounting for this sin
and no childhood left within this shattered
shell of a child.  A darkness, deeper than sleep,
envelopes her lost innocence, as the
morning’s breeze carries the cry of angels.