On the bookshelf in your room, there are home videos of you pushing my sister and I on the swings at a park

by Suika Miller
Once I wrote a poem about
all I knew of you:
Shadowy profile floating down
the corridor,
grayish-brown wisps of hair.
Microwave and toaster on a desk
in the bedroom,
at the end of the hall. 
A door left open, accidentally
or did you want us to see
the pretend life you were crafting.
What heart was spinning in there, Daddy
when you tried to move the entire kitchen
the entire world
into yourself?
What heart died
when the links burned and
left you in the dark?
The electric currents cannot uphold
this kind of solitude
your abandonment.
In the house,
your children are crying
your wife is crying
What about us?
In the living room,
shirts and skirts and jeans neatly folded 
and covered in a beautiful furoshiki
next to the mattress
where she sleeps.
Why should we have to leave? 
Mama says
This is my home.
I left mine last February.
Couldn’t stand the smell of strangers,
the sour taste of shadows in my mouth
each time you passed by.
One day,
I secretly opened the door and stepped inside
when you were not there.
The way a mother steps into the room
of a dead child
years later
to find everything untouched, preserved
as if they are still here
as if they are coming home
before she touches the cold sheets
and remembers
the microwave on the table.
The light switch
that hasn't worked since the day you
tried to warm up your steak
for dinner.
microwaves are not meant 
for the bedroom.
Put it back into the kitchen,
come home.