My old man


I breathe his cigarette smoke day and night

Sometimes Iím tempted to murder him in his sleep

Who would miss an old drunk like him anyway?

But I canít kill him because heís kin.

So I come here instead.

He never beat me as a kid.

He just talked at me, always telling me to shape up or ship out.

Now I talk at him, but heís so numb from booze and pills nothing sinks in.

And Iím scared Iím turning out just like him, coming home at night dead drunk the way he used to.

I canít always find the right key in the dark and I hear him shout at me.

Heís so fucked up he thinks Iím that husband that beat him up once

He used to sneak off the job when I worked with him as a kid, telling me he had to talk to the lady of the house.

He always paused, always said for me not to tell mom.

Heís smoked so much over the years his fingers have turned brown.

All he does his smoke and shake.

Still sometimes, I suck his smoke deep into my lungs, needing to get something of him inside me before he stubs his last cigarette out.

Who will miss him when heís gone?


Thatís who.


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