Love is Blind

Love is Blind

When my father met Vickie, a bleach blond
hourglass in a red plaid dress cut across her thighs
and red platform heels, my brother and I
were tucked away like out-of-style clothing.
Vickie was 16, my father 26, and she moved right in,
pranced around in halter-tops, bending to reveal
the quarter-moon of her breast. My father took Vickie
to fancy dinners and movies, while my brother and I
stayed home with babysitters in tie-dyed T-shirts,
who smoked pot, drank Budweiser, touched tongues.
We watched R-rated movies like The Great Texas Dynamite Chase:
heavily made-up women with silky hair, skinny
arms and legs, writhing under the covers on either
side of a spindly man with feathered hair and a mustache.
And Beyond the Door, where the devil impregnates
the woman from Nanny and the Professor. She eats garbage,
throws up green liquid, has a baby with no mouth—
if only that would have happened to Vickie,
whose every other word was “fuck,” insisted we call her Mom,
drove us to her ex-boyfriend’s house, had us wait
in the car while she vanished for an hour doing who
knows what. There was nothing my brother and I could do—
our father, in a leather vest and bell bottoms, zip-up
boots, had his ears turned off, brain shut down,
eyes pecked, sockets cleaned out, leaving two black holes.


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