Written by Jena Jekums
“The myth of family is / Their presence in your life.”
***TW: suicide, parent loss***
God was napping When my mother took her life. I don’t blame him. I assume His job is a heavy one. The way you know your dad Goes to work each morning As an “engineer” but never Ask what that entails. The myth of family is Their presence in your life. When they are there At your soccer games At your breakfast In your journal, You’re too lost in self-acquiescence For their forms to fill Any voids. Not at twenty-five, Then you feel the olive-pit Blackness, clawing like a basset Hound down your spine, But you’re too proud to Call it hunger. The joke is that your grandmother Is the only one who really Accepts your comings and going’s, And she’s the next to lose. It’s the women you meet along the way Who call you family, who swoop you up to fade Into oblivion when their real family Requires it. The joke is the houses, And the rent, and the dinners, And the games, And the chicken Parmesan some “Family” is serving on a platter. It all boils to brim until Finally one day, you just shout “Fuck it! Just chuck an instant ramen In the pot. See! It’s the same. It’s quick And it’s easy, and when You’re full, you toss it Down the drain.”
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