...five, a first.
Son stands at the threshold of a door,
knuckling away the sleepy in his eye,
ducking around the corner just then,
peeking into the room carpet bombed
by the sky-high hands of father.
Son stumbles through the kitchen,
living room—just a sprog in the training course
of punched-in walls and knocked around furniture
—confused about the foreign lighting
from a fallen lamp, the sharpness
of wrong shadows on the lopsided
painting of mother.
Son zigzags past the minefield
of half-smoked butts, ash mounds,
climbs the trench of the fallen couch
to avoid spills he thinks will burn his feet,
past the Power Rangers action figures
still admirably fighting Lord Zedd
in the center of battle, untouched.
Son screams in seeing the opening sequence
of The X-Files on the floored television,
cannot find the remote in the debris;
just a pack of Kool 100’s, an old leather-worn wallet,
and a bronze-filled mug Dad always sips from,
bubbling like the bath.
I taste alcohol at 5, a first,
find Dad in the driveway facedown again.
When we go back inside
I chuck the Lord Zedd toy at him, hard.
I didn’t yet have the mind to conceive
the metaphor for a grenade.