A Rare Form of Solitude

Victor is a spy:

Not a very good one, he

Is constantly seen

Perching on windowsills

Holding still on planters

Peering through windowpanes,

Big slats of smudged glass.

 

His mother is dead:

Not a very good death, she

Was diagnosed with some rare form of

Hodkins-Non Hodkins Sickle Cell Breast Pelvic Oral Skin radiation,

Or maybe she just fell off something very high, or

Maybe she was never really here at all; like an angel, or

A magic woman, come with potions and tonics resplendent.

 

‘VICTOR!’

 

His father shouts:

Angrily, from the balcony, he

Calls down onto the street below

Worried about the dinner on the table:

Did he cook it just right? Is it too cold?

Will he stimulate Victor in

Pragmatic, analytic, thought-provoking, developmentally rich

Dinner conversation? What with

Marie gone, and so suddenly.

 

‘VICTOR!’

 

Victor hears the echoes:

He crouches on a stoop, a crumpling one with

A rusty handrail and graffiti-stained granite steps

Leading up to a dilapidated building that houses

A thousand boring people who Victor is intently interested in.

He hides from his father’s call, beckoning

Him into a house he no longer desires, a life

That died along with his mother.

 

‘VICTOR!’

 

His father shouts into the night:

He sees his son under a thin strand of

Lamplight pooling on the steps

Of a long-forgotten stoop.

And oh, his son cowers, frightened of

A past that wasn’t so forgiving—

A childhood ripped and jarred.

Victor’s father walks inside the apartment

From the balcony and sits at the table to dine,

Alone.

He says grace, asking God to bless Marie,

Alone.

 

‘Victor!’

 

His mother cries from he clouds:

She says it softly, sweetly, she

Coos into his floppy ear.

Victor sits on the stoop and says Grace,

Alone

While Marie sits up in the stars

And waits.

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