His anger seeped out
through the heating vent.
Nasty words about Mom
traveled to my ears
and I called her to pick me up.
He didn’t help Mom carry my suitcases
and she slipped in the snow.
I stood by her car, waiting
for the tingling in my hands to stop.
The next time I came over he slammed
the front door in Mom’s face,
sat me down on the camel-colored sofa,
loomed above and crossed his arms.
He said, “What happens here, stays here.
I don’t want to know about your mom’s house.
She doesn’t have to know about mine.”
I wanted to sink into the leather
or run outside
so I could melt into the ground, underneath
the ice and snow, the asphalt and frozen-packed soil.