I’m seventeen and here is my father,
standing in front of me in the sunken shed.
He doesn’t see me. He shouldn’t be here.
His eyes crimson, his veins taught, his fingers
tremble. He sticks the needle
in his arm. His crimsons close. His veins release.
I know he shouldn’t be here.
He’s hardly a father,
he never really was.
I’ve been bruised by him before,
I know if he notices me now,
my skin will plum again,
but I don’t stress today. I knew
of the addiction, I never saw the action.
The moment is over, the needle unstuck.
His eyes rise to mine.
Inside the house--
baking for dessert, beating eggs until the yolk spills out the bowl.