Tuesday, November 07, 2006

First Born

Three of us are in the room now.
It is cold; the one heat source smolders, angry
In the corner. I am in the kitchen doing dishes.
I am making dinner, making my brothers and sisters
Swallow multi-formula vitamins – flu always hits
Regardless. Three of us started out : toddler self
Soothing in a plastic dog chair. My parents on the couch,
Stoned or else absorbed in their dinner.
I am looking straight into the camera, my blue eyes
Fixed on whoever was taking the picture, as if she
Would see what I now see.
But she does not.
Washing dishes without hot water, my blue hands
Will never get warm. There’s hamburger again,
Trying to dress up with overcooked macaroni,
And the pop we aren’t allowed to drink.
That’s his.
Already I am old – 14 should not carry this weight,
But I am destined to belong here,
In this picture,
Trying to force everything into place.


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