The Stain on our Souls (flash fiction)

The old man speaks of phantoms. He lay on his death-bed, and his face is ashen and sickly.

“Our home,” he says, “it’s haunted. Haunted by my sins. Haunted by my father’s sins, and his father’s sins.”

“What do you mean?” I ask.

Continue reading

God’s Polaroid Camera (a poem)

For my father

in the dining room, action figures were imprisoned in a green vase, and you returned from prison with my uncle, looking slimmer

from pushups in sunbaked yards

mustache and dazed look gone, down on one knee, arms open wide & smiling with teeth I learned were fakes

I thought you were fake, too

unrecognizable, a stranger from a blurred past we no longer spoke of, only at grandma’s house, when we opened letters decorated by your brother with cut-outs from Marvel comics

& were told you were away on business –

Continue reading

Family Tree (a poem)

There are ghosts in my family –

I realize this as my mother tells tales

of a biological grandfather I never knew

who blew smoke in my face

when I was two

of years my father spent in jail

of anxiety that permeates

the family tree, which is

diseased & hollowed

about to crumple & topple

into grayish dirt

(Photo by Dikaseva on Unsplash)

Skeleton Key (a poem)

I want to trace my family’s history,

go back + find out how we got here –

there was a suicide in the ‘70s, a wound

we carry but do not discuss –

secrets hide in the shadows

+ who knows how they affect us.

Continue reading