A loud screaming. A burst of anger directed publicly at an already crying boy. Dad is unseeable under the hood of his Parka. Temperature is below freezing. Boy doesn’t want to pedal. He’s three years-old and his small shivering legs can’t stay on the pedals. Dad grabs the boy off the bike and pushes him into the doorway. I can feel the tears on my cheekbones. Dad’s baritone howl echoes off the frozen buildings and bellows deep into the hearts of the suddenly transfixed neighborhood.
Kid cries tears fought back in all of us. None of us intervene.
* * *
I am hiding under a rotted, sunken bridge, a barren monument in a dry, flat, dirt-brown countryside, and I can barely keep my eyes open. I have seen children wading and then floating in pools of blood. All of them murdered. Not a single survivor. I can still see the beasts growling and kicking up dust, a dust that accumulated like a darkly-somber light cast upon a fine transparent glass I try to close my eyes but I can’t. I see bruised women scurry around like lizards trapped in a burning glass cage, men fused against the glass bleeding tears and alcohol through every pore. I wait for the ceremony to end. I must see the fractured remains of their children held high and tossed away into the oblivion. Children – fractured but whole, even beautiful; beautifully, elegantly stitched and wrapped in knotted twigs; sweet, sweet faces framed by fine twine; corpses preserved like dead gods; mortal flesh submerged in the rancid pigments of dried, rotted orange rind.
I drop, drop off, drop into a soft bedding. Continue reading “I Can’t Be a Father to Every Child”