No Glow

 

We left a sprig of matches in 
the siphon to ward off tongues. 
Dad shucking Mom till she felt 
close to holy. How else would 
I know that jaundice smells just 
like snakeskin? So I swore all 
origin stories were a pint of bleach 
nursed through newborn eyes. 
That year we tried on burials, 
river mud and Miraclegrow, or dried 
oak and lighter fluid. A roll of quarters 
in my pocket, or your panties in my teeth. 
And yes. God yes. If I could make 
anything scab, we'd have fewer siblings 
rotting in the cistern. Spitting orange 
seeds in the mulch, you said "This is 
how it works" Planted a hatchet in weeds 
with no idea whose throat we'd cleave.