The 2021 Detroit Metro Times Fiction Issue

Page 6 of 20


By Nadine "MARS"

you sleep and your father

appears with half a face

sits in a corner of your bedroom

and watches your body

tense, just as it did when

you were twelve waiting

for his belt to strike your

flesh for your tired mouth

failing to say good morning

in a night filled with the restless

song of crickets you wish

to ask him what it's like to die


to fall amongst the prick

of freshly cut grass and

simply disappear

even here, your father never

loses his gaze toward you

doesn't extend his gangly arms

to beg you to come closer

what do you call a man who is there

and still absent


what do you call a dead father you wish

could speak



you search

for remnants of a woman

once known to you

who sang you to sleep

with a honeyed voice

her arms rocking you

in the half light

you call out to her

yes I was

once your daughter

and I am no more

or yes I want to fall

in love too and document

the Hyacinths in spring

your mother, who is no gardener

says you make her proud

in spite of all that goes without

saying you wish to bring her

close so close

you wish

to ask if she'll ever return

Nadine "MARS" is a writer and cultural organizer born and raised in Detroit.

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