Edges cut clean like the sharp of the lapel on my daddy’s blazers. It was on those wintery nights with steak knives under the hot water gleaming with the sweat of death that we feared the most. The speakers blaring and booming with the sonic synths of Chaka and Rufus, Philly smoke signals surrounding wet fire escapes. He’d knock on the window of 3B after doorbell rings, unanswered during Mash, convinced the stutter silence bouncing off of our bunkbeds was a matter of fiction. Of friction, my father was a master of sorts. Of fire and hitchhiker thumb syndrome, with the wet kisses that foamed on my forehead.
We roared at the shadows, steady silhouettes of under the bed hide’s and muffled remembrances of CIA questioning. My father burned his fingers on too many bottles and now he and my Grandma look like they share the same ageism in them. I hear his voice when I walk too fast or tilt my hat too far to one side, far enough to hide my gap or his beard or my eyes or his bipolar. I don’t run as much, not anymore. I’ve learned better to now lick the traces of him back onto me. I owe him that. Yeah.