by Zachary Drees

At six, my father told me
life was knowing when
to lock the door,
to balance and bury.

Balance substance,
bury a twenty in my nostril,

Adderall stirs the pen,
weed unwinds words,
whisky for the part of me
still hiding,

behind the suit and dress shirts
in my father’s closet
the night Uncle Terry died.

I thirsted for a glimpse
of moisture behind his bifocals.

But like me, a part of him
still hides
in his father’s closet
behind the whipping belt,

a Bible, his dead
mother’s Sunday dress,
and Terry’s graduation gown,
Dowling Catholic red,

we all read
of each other’s
deaths over coffee
one morning,
said nothing, flipped
to the funnies.

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