His Own Two Hands

This is the house that bitterness built.
These are my father’s hands swollen from work.   
This is the basement where he spent most his days.
These are his rifles, his hammer, his gin.
These are the apples he ground into cider.
This is the grave we buried him in.

This is my mother at the mirror at dawn.
This is her make-up, her needles, her thread.
These are the dishes she laid on the table.
These are the bruises around her wrist.
These are the scars I left on her belly.
This is the room where she slept with her guilt.

This is my sister smaller than me.
These are the hours we spent all alone.
These are the pillows we turned to a fort.
These are the words we screamed at each other.
This is the time she called me her friend.
This is the bottle of pills that she swallowed.

This is the hose my father ran to the exhaust.
This is the mouse I killed when I was eight.
These are the crosses that hung on the wall.
These are the pictures and these are the frames.
These are the pet bones we buried out back.
These are the letters that make up my name.

These are my father’s hands swollen from work.
Try them on...see how heavy they are?