Snow White was nude at her wedding, she's so white the gown seemed to disappear when she put it on. Put me beside her and the proximity is good for a study of chiaroscuro, not much else. Her name aggravates me most, as if I need to be told what's white and what isn't. Judging strictly by appearance there's a future for me forever at her heels, a shadow's constant worship. Is it fair for me to live that way, unable to get off the ground? Turning the tables isn't fair unless they keep turning. Then there's the danger of Russian roulette and my disadvantage: nothing falls from the sky to name me. I am the empty space where the tooth was, that my tongue rushes to fill because I can't stand vacancies. And it's not enough. The penis just fills another gap. And it's not enough. When you look at me, know that more than white is missing.
I cannot forget the sugar on the table.
The hand that spilled it was not that of
my usual father, three layers of clothes
for a wind he felt from hallway to kitchen,
the brightest room though the lightbulbs
The sugar like bleached anthills of ground teeth.
It seemed to issue from open wounds in his palms.
Each day, more of Father granulated, the injury spread
like dye through cotton, staining all the wash,
condemning the house.
The gas jets on the stove shoot a blue spear
that passes my cheek like air. I stir
and the sugar dissolves, the coffee giving no evidence
that it has been sweetened and I will not taste it
to find out, my father raised to my lips, the toast burnt,
the breakfast ruined.
Neither he nor I will move from the shrine
of Mother’s photo. We begin to understand
the limits of love’s power. And as we do,
we have to redefine God; he is not love at all.
He is longing.
He is what he became those three days
that one third of himself was dead.