Liver and onions, potato salad, bologna sandwiches…these were the things we called “dinner.” Our dog, Lunch, never came when called. I’d stand on the stoop at twilight and shout until I sounded like pack-a-day Uncle Jay, but still, my homework never got done. I did math homework to Led Zeppelin because I never intended to be a mathematician.
“What makes you think you’re going to college, girlie?” I swung my fist at the captain of the girls’ swim team. My tooth I put under my pillow that night.
While I slept, a gondola bumped against the bedroom glass. Leaving through a window isn’t like leaving through a door. The stars were teeth in a shark’s mouth and I was hungry to be devoured.
Before summer porch nights with beer and a lightning storm, before the man I married, the children I didn’t raise, and the jobs I could not quit, there was:
Fire in the sky, a long demon exhale and I was riding it the whole way, holding on for life was dear and I would pay. I could not fall for the falling. Where poems could be.
This is a reprint of work originally published in Le Mot Juste.
Priya Keefe’s work has appeared on a Dublin lamppost, in Seattle buses, and in Seattle City Council meetings. It has been spied in Five:2:One, The American Journal of Poetry, Outlook Springs, and elsewhere.