Mother died today. Slaughtered like memory. Buried cells past. Eyes a tragedy. Unhinge her skull. Imagine her alive. Shattered window shards. Quaff, questioned, qualm. Private hospital rooms. Electric shock therapy. Dad signed papers. Dry, muted tongues. Jeerful, hideous husband. Sex addict status. Xenophobic Irish neighborhood. Catholic sheep sheared. Six total births. One child stillborn.
Mom’s beige sister. Four total births. Lunacy of intrusion. Convulsed, mad chaos. Too much noise. Fragments scattered her. Diffused outside terror. Unkempt choral clocks. Half-baked skies. Nights groped yesterdays. Hands circuited rooms. She was seven. The uncle babysat. Her breath impotent. Uncle groaned thunder. Bleary, overgrown carpet. Mom was nine. That year hissed.
Depression transfixed gestures. Grizzled efforts dissolved. Faces never migrated. Nothing rediscovered dawn. The sisters dissolved. Mom: cancer castaway. Aunt: slit throat. Fetid photograph albums.
Kids rotted indifference. They became addicts. They became thieves. They became Jesuits. Dads’ fluttered on. Found vigorous wives. Sparkling, white wine. Yoga begot scourge. They detested offspring. Cleaned, cleaned, disinfected. Screamed, yelled, eradicated. “Fucking get out.”
Kids ambushed exits. They got out.
Meg Tuite is author of a novel-in-stories, Domestic Apparition, a short story collection, Bound By Blue, and won the Twin Antlers Collaborative Poetry award for her poetry collection, Bare Bulbs Swinging, as well as five chapbooks of short fiction, flash, and poetic prose. She teaches at Santa Fe Community College, is a senior editor at Connotation Press, an associate editor at Narrative Magazine, fiction editor here at Bending Genres Journal, and editor of eight anthologies. Her work has been published in numerous literary magazines, over fifteen anthologies, nominated nine times for the Pushcart Prize, five-time Glimmer Train finalist, placed 3rd in Bristol Prize, and Gertrude Stein award finalist. Her blog: http://megtuite.com.