MY FATHER WALKED OUT ON THE WORLD
It’s 4 a.m. and I’ve flatlined in my mousetrap bed
Wondering how my father learned to calcify
Black fire into unbreakable indifference
Meant to soothe him invisible, Superman indivisible
Shield him from troops of coy mistress vampires
And toothless ghouls that
He’s lugged like a bulging bowling bag, the
Strap stitched with quick sutures into his shoulder.
My father tries to be gracefully proud
But reformed christians know that whole-bellied pride
Can sever your senses to a cauterized clean
And infect the root of hard toiled morals
Until the soil is like pus, the crops useless
As fallen robins with their necks snapped.
We were all unhappy at the end
Dazed strangers stuck on a train screaming through
The same dark tunnel looped like a scratchy home movie
The sound snipped out
The mouths slit from ear to ear
The eyes never laughing.
Vanessa Willoughby is a graduate of Emerson College and The New School. Her work has been featured on The Toast, The Hairpin, Thought Catalog, Literally, Darling, and The Huffington Post. Her writing can be found at www.my-strangefruit.tumblr.com.