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Drops of Blood in the Soapsuds

By Nina Dumornay


I feel the vulnerability of my parents inside of me like a thing that drags, snapping pieces

down to its center- the pit of my stomach- from the skin under my eyes to the tension knots in my shoulders that pinch, to my forearms like an anchor, like a black hole. I avert my eyes, twirl fingers in gray wire and count my breath in beats of four.

~

Her friends draw her a long bath of warm water, crumpled rose petals and bubbles. Take a picture of her there, hair curling in the suds, sleek like the soap-sheen of her skin, tears in her teeth, des pierres precieuses, when she finds nothing else to wear, she will wear those to the party, hair still running with tiny streams of water, feet full contact on the dry ground, how romantic.

~

My father opens his mouth and in this moment I hate him, pragmatic pathways spill from him, forging ways into the world where emotion has no say, they are bulldozed and plowed down behind a haze he does not see, in those moments, I could wage war against him with the tools that he gave me, cut the words from his mouth before they are spoken, take back the tightness from the air, push it down and out, our home purified, (purged) of pain

Again.

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