sibling rivalry

“Chocolate and Depression”

Papa chortled at my earnest tale
hunks of greasy sausage muffling his hilarity
crooked teeth, stained by nicotine and tannin
missing molars, floppy mustache quivering
cheeks burning, how I hate eating with the family
smoky flesh
rolled into wobbly chairs
prints several decades out of fashion, opinions centuries old and
stupid

at first, I mistook the crowds to be watching an execution
the garish victims impaled
like roasted goats on a spit, the blood flowing
and popping in the cherry wood flames piled high beneath the wretched souls

my little brother
– the stinking and festering rat, long may he suffer a terrible wasting disease of the nether regions-
kicks me hard under the table
fists clench, bangs flick, I concentrate,
instead,
on the faded lily pattern,
eyes tracing the same path as every, single, meal, before
my fork pushing the potatoes
gathering the gravy into a single lake, the dam could burst at any time
gloating secret smile, wouldn’t that be neat, bobbing, bloated corpses
only me
finally alone

We have apples for dessert

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