Back Again (Dramatic Monologue)

I move past the living room with the cigarette smell,

noticing the kitchen where I grew up: wallpaper, yellowing,

with flowers; the mixer in the corner my mother used to use;

the fridge, humming, the color of a pool.  My parents are there;

mother with hands in her lap, father, his forehead like rock

leaning against the empty sky of his hand.  I start

apologizing, since that’s what I think they want me to do:

explain not just the recent accident, (kid not killed but hurt,

jail approaching in two weeks), but everything: all the little

fuck-ups, mistakes that ended up making me.  Listen:

living in that house for those two weeks before jail,

the quiet was like a siren.  I’d walk downstairs into the kitchen

to eat breakfast with the parents.  None of us would talk.

The only sound was silverware clinking, someone sniffing,

clearing their throat.  I had this repeating dream I was blind,

I was running through woods with my hands before my face,

feeling twigs snapping against my eyes, my arms, my back.

I felt I was running and caught at the same time, 

caught in my body though no one knew, I was vanishing

and couldn’t tell anyone.  At the window at night,

I’d look out to the lawn, the moon, and see

my own face there in the reflecting glass.   

Can you imagine being surprised by your own weariness?

Like a ghost throwing cold water in your face.


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