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Worozbyt 7 Errata "For Your Sins" was printed with an error in 30/31 Spring 1988. We reprint it here correctly, with our apologies to Theodore Worozbyt, Jr. , and to our readers. Theodore Worozbyt, Jr. For Your Sins 1 This is not for you, no, or any others like you. You will not recognize what this is, what you have done. Last night I fell into a slim ditch full of muddy water. I lost my balance with a three-piece charcoal pinstripe wrapped around my body. A redneck from Douglas County took a chromed steel rod with leather at the base, leather like the base of the gear-shift of a sports car, maybe a Corvette like the one you drove, and he drove it with a Ball-Peen hammer harder and harder like a thick nail into the side of my head until I could not stand to run. I was out of myself, in the air, watching this pummelling until Ifell back from the sky His gang was laughing, even the one woman I took to be his old lady, and he said to me, from a face I have seen a thousand times and never seen, 'You don't talk that way in Douglas County, boy. ' And I had not yet spoken a single word. 8 the minnesota review 2 There is too much I remember, but I believe I'm better off for it. Would you remember any of this even if I were to tell you? Mother had taken to sleeping in my bed when you were in town and she thought you might come home. What about the night the raw light bulb jerked white into my four year old eyes? You poured the whole jar of ice water on us just to let us know you had arrived safe and sound, that you weren't sprawled in bloody drunken pieces on a road somewhere near the Sans Souci Club, a policeman writing something in a pad over your separated body, a teased-up head sliding into the steel mouth of an ambulance. Yes, you were alive and well, man enough to grab her by the hair, hair she'd bleached for you so she'd look like Bardot, like Baby, when she wore the faU to cocktails and to bed. I knew you were dragging her from my room to beat her with your fists, dragging her to your bedroom to beat her, her deep-throated pleas and screamed grunts beating into my white-haired head, coming from her mouth and your hands so clotted that twenty years later I still hear it all and know I always will. I came at your thighs with as much fist and unblinded hate as four years could teach, and you swatted me with the palm of your hand. I tasted blood, my blood, your blood, the blood of my mother. Would you remember this? Or have your new wife, your new children given you enough to remember for now? Or is it that a house in Northwide worth half a miollion dollars, a soUd practice of law, a next-door preacher for a golf partner and a four car garage give you just enough to forget? I understand you're a regular man at the church these days? Worozbyt 9 And when you decided to paint, when I was five, and you slashed-stroked a fair reproduction of Van Gogh's "The Sower"? I remember crawling down the stairs one night after waking from what I thought was a bad dream. Glazed with bumps under my pyjamas, I saw your canvas in the flat blue-violet wash of moon mixed with streetlight, and then you, a blackened mass of olive flesh standing over the naked ball of Mother, her body curled like an enormous bruise dropped from the damp hairy center of your chest. When I was nine you brought the little mistress home for some lasagna. What were you thinking? Of blessings three years before your second marriage? You laughed when Mother brought out the Luger and screamed Get the fucking cunt out of this house before I kill you both. You knew...


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