Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2017  Vol. 16 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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A Coward for a Daughter

I cannot heave my heart into my mouth, Father.
It burns a black coal, stokes a fire that feeds
my veins. You first struck the flint. Sparks
flared from every pornographic magazine
you left out in the open. My body couldn’t match
the buxom or the waif, neither could our mother’s.
In secret you went wandering but couldn’t brave
the cold world of divorce, and so became a thief
to buy back our affections. Even now, two decades
hence and with your brain madness melted, I have
no confrontation words—my sister, the better soldier.
Her tongue let fly a timely list of sins. She let
the flames burn out and doused her embers,
is more apt to tend you in your anti-coronation.  

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