I’m just going to say it.
I used to dream your face was chasing me. Up our basement stairs and into the kitchen. Eyes bulging out and into me.
Rubbing, singeing the sleeves off my shirt.
My tweety-bird shirt. It buttoned like a uniform, pin stripes and patches. I wore it open like daddy. I let my beer belly hang out.
I could hear your calloused hands against the railing as you crawled closer to me. Static in the picture distorted your face. You shook yourself to pieces.
I was the fastest kid at school. Playground king with a clean vagina. The boys were jealous. They wanted to touch it. I always touched theirs first.
Yet I couldn't leave the stairs. My baby toes were thumb tacked to the ground, forehead stapled to the wall. You crept in closer and I tried to scream.
Daddy was in the fridge, Larkin was at the plate. My mouth was open, my fingers stretched. I felt your breath beat upon my neck. I couldn't look up. I didn't. You told me to clean up the blood off the carpet.
You told me I looked just like him.
I took off my shirt and went to bed.