Dining Dis’Comfort

She doesn’t say goodbye
Although romantic
She refuses even an au revoir
She studies them in secret
Photographing their privates
And their arousing masturbation
All enigmas pending publishing

For her book collections and stories
The strength of her unwinding pull
Keeps returning her to the puppets
For play and make-believe song
Each is added to her box of simple
Fools weighted down with hearts
Overfilled with blood
They are medicine
For hers is empty

Mom was a magician, but in fairness it could have been Dad, using helium to turn scheming eyes into innocent helplessness. When her pockets ran empty, her face underwent transformation, just enough for a man to feel wanted or needed. She was like a co-dependent fisherman with a talent for hooking vulnerable fish without rod or bait.

She took me into many a diner with no intention to pay, and had them serve me plates filled with disgrace long before I was old enough to chew, let alone swallow. Who knows what secrets were implanted while my screams were muffled in the bathroom stalls.

At some point I became a fish, the kind that rises to the waters surface after being harpooned by the rancor of parental clowning. Only the unidentified remains.

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