by Elaine Nadal

I’ve sat at the table--
exchanged smiles and words
in lackadaisical conversations.
I hear the noise.
I grew up with it:
broken bottles,
glass shattered,
parrot squawking.
The water running gives me peace,
yet it stops.
It always stops,
leaving behind slippery rocks and salt.
I’ve grown parched--
want to go where the sounds drown,
where the four high-pitched notes of the doorbell
are nonexistent, and Father isn’t drunk.
Where Mother can’t tell me to hide the scar
from my open heart surgery.
I want to go where the water goes--
remove my shirt, cover the cracks on doors,
seal the windows, turn on the stove and faucets
until the smoke swallows the scraps,
and there’s no remembering
and nothing weighing you down.
But like an arpeggio descending
in a jazz tune,
the sunlight falls through the window shade
at 2:59 p.m.

Copyright 2024 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.