there was a world I couldn’t fix. I stuffed my wet sheets in the chute
most mornings and did anything but drift down to the kitchen, dark on one side
and light on the other, my bowl of cereal waiting for me. Their love
for me was immense, measured, I suppose, by their need
for me to look away from failure. Theirs. Mine. I studied
the wallpaper, the repeating trees of winter drawn with pen and ink.
Bleak and, for this reason, beautiful, to someone whose pain was both
present and postponed, the stripped-down trees paralleled my small venture
down the stairs. I look at the scar on my arm from the time I ran
down those stairs and crashed through the glass door. The old seam of skin
widens then fades into the palm’s history of guilt and guilt’s evasion. The cut came
when my arm snapped back through the jagged glass. Now my mother
and father float above me, cloth white bandages covering their flawed eyes.