by Kit Travers
Disappointment is more common than love.
Or at least as common.
At least as common as fathers
& their children.
As common as forced haircuts,
family bible lessons, and
long rambling prayers,
The point of which
Is right between your eyes
While his hand clutches yours, kneading your fingers,
Grinding your knuckles, til they’re sore.
As common as “street fighting lessons”
Which is pretty much just you
Being pushed over, again & again
By a middle aged man.
As common as being threatened with military school.
As common as when he falls asleep in his food.
As common as when he threatens to kick you out of the car
To walk your judgey, ungrateful ass home.
As common as cheating,
As common as being told you’re just a little fairy boy
Or that Harry Potter is the devil.
Common as finding crack pipes
In the drawers, the cars.
Or waking you up to talk
In the middle of the night
about how your mother is poison.
As common as visiting him in rehab.
Or being told you’re a bad son.
As common as insomnia.
As common as drug dealers using your mom’s
car for a toilet.
It’s as common as nightmares
& as common as the memories that run on repeat,
Twelve years on, when you still
Only feel safe alone, with your
Books and your drink
& all the locks secured,
In an apartment where the only other
Living things are two plants,
One of which is barely holding on.