odysseus and athena
by Ashley Warner
when uncle k**** would walk to grandma
old house, he stayed in the patio, with fluffy,
the dog. i lied about uncle k****
touching fluffy’s penis with his mouth. i did this
before he called me fat, before he left
streaks of shit in his sister’s tub. before
momma told me the story of the girl who hit
the schizophrenia into his head with a pipe.
before i found out that uncle k****,
the baby boy of the first set of kids,
had been sent away when he was young.
they knew i was lying about uncle k****.
they sat me on grandma lap and questioned
me into the truth. i been lying to all yall.
i pointed at all of them, momma, grandma,
shalanda, even ronald, who was a baby.
i don’t tell uncle k**** about grandma
new house. the one she moved to when
the cancer took her oldest daughter.
grandma say he’ll be over here every day
if you let him know where she live.
uncle k**** still think grandma
lives in that house off lake forest.
the one his older sister moved to when
she found out about her ovarian cancer.
grandma say bury me in mississippi.
and when k**** die. i want him next to me.
now how that’s gon’ go? when they
on the other side and all they got is forever?