i soften remembrances of you
so that i may live

but there are days
when the truth
of what you were

is flung from your grave

as the world
stages another revolution

terror rises from my earliest memories

my big sister
running with tiny me in her arms
to lock us behind a door
away from your belt
because i had toddled too near
your neatly pressed slacks

and

the day you walked to my swing set
to beat four year old me

mercilessly

for innocently repeating words
i didn’t understand

from your tongue
to grandma’s ears

you were kind enough
to slam me back down on the slide
when you were done

leaving me screaming atop the play mountain
the stream of urine
running all the way down between my legs
past my white sandal feet
the full length of the hot metal incline
then finally
dripping onto blades of grass

and it’s all i can do

to not drive deep into kentucky
with a shovel and lye
to liquefy your bones

alleviating me
and the earth
of what’s left of your weight

oh, fred

you’re perfect dead

a casket was the best place for you