Tomorrow is my father’s birthday.
I haven’t heard from him since a few days before Christmas,
a message in a hotel bathroom in a rundown town
a few miles east of Lake Michigan. My mother stood
beside the sink and looked at me
in the doorway. She thinks it was Scotch
and I believe her. There was a different liquid on my face
running down and from my body. The walls were royal blue
and chipping – my brother found some in his bed that morning. Tomorrow
is my father’s birthday and when they set my due date in 1994
he made it ten days after his own. He said he remembers fives.
Five was the year of the divorce and he reaches out and out and out
with checks and the immeasurable distance of a yearly bottle
of wine. I was five feet and he told me Judy Garland
was the same but she was beautiful and five pounds shows itself
on my body. The walls around me are green
and remind me of his eyes – holding strange melodies
and no glitter.
E. Anna Keith is a writer living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with two cats, one tortoise, and many jars of peanut butter. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in genre2 and Constellate. She tweets about poetry and existential angst at @ekeithwrites.