© Terrible Orange Review 2019. 

Donora A. Rihn

 

Union


You wince about the price of tickets, about the height of the kiosk. You say it was built for the
children you will never have, and during the film you like the scratches I put onto your forearms but
wince again about how the heroine takes down the alien spaceship with only a Molotov cocktail
made from a bottle of 80-proof whiskey, women always finding themselves in bad plot lines. It isn't
enough, you tell me. And what is, although we both like Molotov cocktails, and my favorite thing
about you is how you crashed your car into a police station on a blackout. I'm grateful you are here,
that we’re alive at the same time. I'm grateful for anyone who has made it possible for me to look at
you. I go back to the red wall where we met, forever my mouth spilling out of its corners because it
wants to escape in the way you want to escape. You light a cigarette. They are going to raid this
place in twelve hours. I put my hands on the wall. You are saying something about union protests
while the light cracks about your jaw. For a moment, I cannot see beyond it. And then I look up.

 

Photograph

 

 

Your father was what he was.

 

 

That last night and me on the floor,

 

last night and the blood (obligatory).

 

 

Anyway. Who cares whose fist it is

 

as long as it is beautiful. Daughter,

 

 

I learned tenderness. I learned how

 

to say, Why are we whispering?

 

 

Because there are chandeliers.

Donora A. Rihn is the author of the poetry book Jeff Bridges and several other books. She is currently editing her dissertation on annihilation rhetoric and completing SCORPION, a poetry book about her late mother.