I stand on tiptoes and peer into the ice creams, palms creating a warm icing
On the glass.
I pick honeycomb.
We walk (father, sister and I) the promenade, laced with boats and fishermen
Staring out to a sea that reflected the glint of posts lighting our path.
We walk, unaware of the cold, until we reached the end and looked
Out onto the lighthouse we talked of visiting when the tide was out
But never did.
And we return to our grandmother’s
We are not allowed to talk of the ice cream
And we stay up watching all her favorite soaps
I fall asleep in a camp bed next to my sister
With a nightlight burning orange
And a nightgown too big, by a mile
But the room is so warm.
We walked less and less
And our father needed to get back earlier and earlier
And his hand was not as big to hold as before
When we did walk, I noticed
How loud the children in the arcade were
And how the names of the little boats were disgusting
And how many couples looked empty, like they were on heroin.
And now I no longer need to stand on tip-toes
And the last time I visited
I could feel the cold.
Day of Restlessness
We were brought there, usually late,
with diluted juice and coffee afterwards.
The lingering scent rests
on wooden benches that force our backs upright.
We see the same man, alone and smelling strange.
Breakfast in his beard, salvation in his words.
We talked of him, but never by his name.
My lungs burned when we sang.
My legs balanced, overlooking the obedient herd.
Believing every word,
‘he is seated at the right hand of the Father’
I am seated to the left of my father.
He tiredly repeats and repents.
And I imagine lying on the clouds I saw heaven in.
That night, I prayed and he hasn’t heard.