June 30, 2009

A man of infinite jest

You sat in that
bathtub with a gun
to your head, drinking,
sobbing, and
falling
apart.
That bathroom was full of mildew,
and used tampons littered the trash.

You sat in there with tears
blurring your vision. You were
unable to recognize your father,
standing before you. But he
could not be there. Lodged in your
mouth, your father’s service revolver
reminded you of the metallic jolt
electricity from a 9-volt battery.

You wanted to pull it away,
stopping that acid taste and
to address that phantasm
hovering before you, but
the electricity running
through your body took
all control from you.
Your muscles contracted:
Around the barrel,
your lips;
around the grip,
your fist;
and around the trigger,
one lingering thumb.
Your eyes clenched.
Your ears braced
for the explosion.

The body relaxed,
and the gun fell with
a splash to the pool
of water near the drain.
The lips were turned up
slightly at the corners.