Rapture of Yesteryear

If you know me you know
I sing in the car--
loudly. Belting.
Putting on a show for the dashboard
and the trash on the floor I haven’t thrown away,
and I guess it started early when she
turned the radio to MAX when Celebration by
Kool and The Gang was next on the CD.
There’s a lot I learned from her besides how to sing in the car like
how to cry and curse,
how to drink coffee and how to use people.
(If I tell myself the absence is only a concept,
cross-stitched into my lungs
a tumor, yes
benign, also
no longer do I choke on it
I’d be lying. Because I wouldn’t still
write about it
or dream about it
or hate it, for that matter.)
Before I knew what ugly meant,
I thought she was beautiful.
(I couldn’t count all the times I
blamed her if I wanted to. And maybe that’s not fair
because you can’t tame your illnesses, but
if she loved me like she said, why didn’t she
take the damn medicine when I was pubescent
and begging her to
take care of herself so maybe I wouldn’t have to.)
She bought this shirt once that made me think of the Flintstone’s and
I told her I liked it
because she taught me how to lie.
That night we had to eat dinner from the dollar menu
because she spent all her money and I got in trouble
the next day at school for not doing my homework.
I’ve never broken a bone
and if you know me you know
she’s the only clean break I never had.

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