My father had his chance to get away
But he let the buzzard back in the room,
the whirl of its leather wings
like the sound of a tearing shower curtain.
It filled the room with years of screams,
Of blood, the smell of piss on sheets.
It swooped in with a rip and a rag,
Eyes like cigarette burns and it lit
My father on fire. Red engulfed his arm
And my small naked body.
After, I set on the steps of war,
Half blocked by wall and green carpet,
The room smelling of beast, of copper,
Of broken men and fingernails dug into legs.
My voice sunk into my arms and I
Held it, let my tears baptize into safety.
The monster came – in its eyes the look
Of pulled out hair, the puncture of rage into a face,
The long tooth that hung from its mouth
Bit me too, and I wonder if I am still bleeding from the wound.