The day her scarf slipped away, blue/black fingerprints necklacing her flesh.
I write in pencil; words freight pain.
I don’t know when it started. Early on, I think. The morning he got up and there was nothing for breakfast, no food in the house except tomato soup? He ate half and tipped the rest down the sink before leaving for work. She’d laughed about it later. What difference does it make, he’d said, what types of food you eat at what times of day?
Everything slipped. And how can a man vanish in an instant? My father gone to kill him.
He said the silence of the world had been absolute. It was assenting, perhaps.
And I learned how much I was loved. Violence like lightning, splitting the tree, its heartwood exposed in stark light. He would be ashamed to know this, a gentle man, an unwilling teacher of opposites.