The crooked angle of shadow from your father's house
why won't the past
stay as it was
15 shanty lane
run down car
a closed down laundromat
and a problem with the needle,
the general lay of the land
how much you got on you?
not as good as you coulda been
but your kin destined your blood
and spitting it out don't change its color
you're what you are
through and through
"it gets worse 'fore it gets worse"
your cousin Linda says
her husband has a tire iron in his right hand
and a bottle of his early grave in the other
from this distance you can't tell the barkin' dogs
apart from the six kids,
and the hot sticky hay smell
is makin' you sick
as you're driving home
you pull off to puke along the side of the same highway
your granddad was shot to death on
by his second wife,
his last wife,
his abused for far too long and tired of takin' his shit wife
shadows of the past can make you so sick inside
you'd rather die on the spot
than cry it out.
Next best thing is to just puke till your guts level out.
On a much deeper level your guts never do level out.
James Diaz lives in upstate New York. He is the founding editor of the literary arts journal, Anti-Heroin Chic. His work has most recently appeared in HIV Here & Now, Foliate Oak, Indiana Voice Journal, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc, The Atrocity Exhibition, and These Fragile Lilacs. http://heroinchic.weebly.com/