An 8-track plays number 1 on the stereo
while I laugh because I'd never seen tears of a clown--I walk around, smiling,
pretending to cry, entertaining the adults until they get annoyed. The house
fills with Smokey's smooth voice knocking
down the walls, finding its way into the
ears and souls of those long gone. The
adults play cards and drink drinks
while I sit in my room on the burgundy
comforter lightly coated with coal dust
atop white sheets with black feet stains.
Mama always said to bathe before
I go to bed--but my feet always
get dirty. She dances, telling me to spin her.
I'm half her height and she ends up turning me so the room spins and I'm drunk
on her giddyness. Her kisses smell like stale jim beam and menthol cigarettes.
I turn away and she kisses me again, laughing.
She puts me to bed, turns out the light,
and closes the door.