He squirms within the moment, soon, joint custody will be decided by the care takers, one in particular whose stale sweat singes, this tatty, grossly caramel painted man, a vaudeville player dancing his death over the dowry of his browbeaten daughter, who moans and sighs and signs her rights of motherhood away, clamping her abusive love around the effeminate wrists of her tender son who sings a song of silence taught to him by his father in dusty auburn chords. The murky cherry wood table, chipped, stained and etched with desperation awaits the boy and his love like a slab in the coroner’s den. Boy, hey boy, stopping playing with the knots of wood! Have you no respect? What’s wrong with you? The beautiful boy asks himself forever, what is wrong with me? He hums a wordless hymn, tongue thick from love, all dumb and innocent, as rage slices slivers of illusion. He can feel them, those razor blades, tickle a section of midnight waves along his forearms, whilst the conjoined twins of curls and cuts shriek judgment in their misshapen robes; spittle flies from their crooked lips searing table and boy; his paperwork shuffles a canticle in the hands of the care takers, irreconcilable differences is determined to be insufficient reason for release, but abandonment might pass. The separation prior was necessary,
as evidence, and the panel of judges could not agree on who should get the lion’s share of the shame, so they dressed the boy in it. I could smell the carcass of love, rotting away, trapped under the warped floorboards with a fine sheen of despair, sickly sweet, the minute crackling, popcorn sounds of roaches picking it apart; it leaves me woozy and nauseous. Drowning in the deluge that is my father’s silence, weighed down by a mother’s denunciation, outcast by sisters who never understood me, there stands my little boy. Not long now querido, not long now. We will have a decree nisi, and await the moonlight to see us through to this new day. Even if I have to take you away in secret there will not be a second attempt at divorce.