- Orphan Supper, and: Sunday Afternoons with Father
Fast-food fried chicken over the sink for the third night in a row.
The dish pile grows.
My mom will never make me soup again, but I keep collecting bones.
I add the femur to her freezer bag of bones.
Sunday Afternoons with Father
He walks through the door in dirty clothes and asks if I know how to smoke crack.
I drink coffee at the breakfast table, hungover. He bounces from foot to foot,
says the rock gets really hot, so does the pipe. I light a cigarette. Stare at the linoleum.
He tells me it’s easy to make a pipe from the glass tubes [End Page 83]
of fake roses in gas stations, the bp on the corner sells them cheap.
I flip pages of the TV Guide, attempt apathy. But he’s not giving up:
You have to be careful when you hold the pipe because it gets so hot so fast, you know?
(I know a skilled stillness, the want to slip away.)
I take a drag off my cigarette. He smiles, says it’s not easy, it takes practice.
I nod, ash into an empty can. [End Page 84]
Carroll Beauvais is a 2012 “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize semifinalist. Her work has appeared in the Collagist, Bateau, and elsewhere.