a century’s wisdom locked beneath wrinkled imparted silence,

weakened limbs encased bleak organs,

encased in cold metal bed,

bed pans, sponge baths, motorized assumptions

 

ambivalence inducing pills suppressing hard-won ideals,

styled in discrimination—

but i was almost too young to not forgive

 

your sticky whiskers, strawberry jam, 

measuring my growth spurts with your great-grandfather paws,

clenched beneath my chin,

powder blue linen table cloth covered 

in thick plastic 

to protect—

what from whom?

 

i could sing ‘twinkle, twinkle’ on the rotary

in the dining room,

watching beige striped wallpaper 

peel, at first above

and then below

my sightline

 

every night there was a phone call from my father,

and following a lean over 

into the sacred

brown, corduroy 

throne

 

from here you dictated how many bran muffins, 

elucidated agassi’s technique,

questioned why anyone would already need 

to buy a vowel

 

sought after consolation 

actualizes once repression

lifts—

acceptance 

breathes past the wheeze,

still echoing in younger ears.