The cops come around near midnight,
lights flashing like a carnival outside,
neighbors there watching, waiting, hoping for a good show again.
Mom hides in the bathroom.
Dad leans on the door jamb wearing boxers and a ribbed tank top.
Steam lifts off the back of his sweaty neck,
swept away by the crisp fall air.
It’s, “Step outside.”
It’s, “You got a warrant?”
It’s, “You’re really screwed this time.”
It’s, “Fuck you.”
It’s, “You’re under arrest.”
It’s, “Shove it up your ass.”
After they’ve hauled him off,
mom calls us to the kitchen table
and I think she’s going to tell us we’re free now,
but instead all she wants to know is
which one of us called the police.

Len Kuntz is an writer from Washington State and the author of the story collection, The Dark Sunshine, from Connotation Press. Additionally, he’s an editor at the online lit zine Literary Orphans. You can find him at

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