Abigail slides the glass door shut.
As beads of water percolate off her body
and land on the faux stone tile,
the smell of chlorine from her swim
and the smell of coffee from my brewing pot blend.
My uncle, Abigail's father, and my mother
are seated at the sticky, spilt soda kitchen table beside me.
"Go get ready for dinner," my mother's brother says, sending
Abigail's bikini'd frame through doorway and around the bend.
The brew idles, and I'm all porcelain and sugar substitute for a moment,
then back by my uncle and mother.
"Abigail has gotten so thin," my mother says.
"Is she eating?" my mother asks.
"I know it's tough for girls her age. When they're looking to marry," my mother says.
I want to bash the smoking cup into her face.
My uncle says she's been training for a marathon.
My neurons get tidy and taper off.
So, it's out of the kitchen and into an empty living room
to park my ass on an empty piano bench.
I set the coffee on top, and press eight of my fingers down
on black keys.
I hear toes-to-heels, toes-to-heels.
I gaze over my shoulder.
Now, Abigail's in a black, black dress. Mid-thigh.
In her left hand,
red fuck-me-shoes with a heel that could turn a curious man blind;
in her right hand,
black pantyhose and cherry lipgloss.
"You should have swam," Abigail delivers with hushed precision,
like she'd been reciting the line throughout the duration of her swim.
Abigail has long brunette hair,
and it's sticking to her neck.
Deep permanent dimples frame her lips.
She's a nurse in Waco.
Each time I see her, I think about
Bukowski's 103-pound "Texan".
It makes me rash, violent, a heady monstrosity,
and trembling sick.
"I forgot my trunks."
"That's no excuse."
I would respond, but she's sliding the hose up her leg.
In the living room.
While my uncle talks a second mortgage around the bend.
Her right leg crosses her left,
an overpass and an interstate.
My forehead overheats in a flash,
and I feel like she's staring back at me.
When my leering eyes shift from
her toes to her eyes, the pupils beckon:
"All roads lead to me."