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? 


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