The first glass was smiles,
He’d tell us that he loved us
Or that we made him proud
Warm glow from the fire reflected the sloshing contents of his drink on the walls
A blurred dance of celestial lines and shapes.
We took in his light like the inhale of a breath,
Feeling so glad to have earned his praises.
Fifth glass was slurred words
Crawling from the corners of his mouth like a rat escaping a sewer,
The smiles were gone.
We stood still with anxious ticks unfolding before us
Afraid of what would happen if we were to speak
The fire was fading, the dance nearing an end
Glass eight brought anger
Shouts spiraled from his chest, a tornado that we couldn’t cross
Words flew by us,
Glasses flew by us,
Fists flew by us.
Too scared to move, our backs pressed against the wall
We tried our best to disappear
I closed my eyes and held my hands together hoping that the small amount of pressure would be enough to make him lay his hands on someone else that night
Twelfth glass brought sleep.
With his body still we could move again,
His neck crooked to the side, an empty glass in his hand.
No liquid left to reflect.
A sleeping serpent laying in the center of his destruction
Broken glasses and thrown picture frames at his feet,
It became hard to believe he had caused this a moment ago
Now seven years later I find myself at a party
The bass so loud I could feel my body shake,
Red cup in my hand, liquid sloshing with familiarity
Without a pause I am drinking one glass,
I wonder how I let myself become the thing I fear most like a reverse metamorphosis into my childhood,
And now when I look in the mirror I don’t see me,
I’m stuck looking into his lifeless eyes
And I don’t know how I can change this,
How can I run when the monster resides inside of me?
I don’t know how I can separate myself from him when every time I see a drink I hear my mother’s scream
Blurred images of memory and reality surround me and I am once again too afraid to move
Back pressed against the wall, hands pressed together.
I am my childhood nightmares,
Completing the cycle and making ends meet
Once again I am back in that trailer and I wonder if I ever left