The father gave up alcohol on the cusp
of her recall — sometime after she turns three.
Before then life is mosaicked, rustic
absent most its tiles, glass mysteries
transparent at most inconvenient hours,
of pretty parks, passionflowers, the same shade
as her scoured cheeks. Taught her to devour
raw oysters weeks later to mother’s dismay.
Says of it later “you would have swallowed
anything then to please him” — hot sauce,
alcohol scented sweat on skin, hollowed
by the age of ten when liquid mirth was lost
to him, the cost of his cleanliness again.
For decades, Dirty Mary’s taste of him.
By Kristin Garth
Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Rhysling nominated sonneteer and a Best of the Net 2020 finalist. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of 20 books of poetry including Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir (Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), and Girlarium (Fahmidan Journal). She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter: (@lolaandjolie) and her website kristingarth.com