January 15 // E. Anna Keith

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.

Image by Christin

#vol8 #eannakeith #poetry #family

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